The White House on Monday backed the TSA after Sen. Rand Paul said agents detained him at the Nashville airport when he set off one of the new full-body scanners.
Meanwhile Mr. Paul’s father, Rep. Ron Paul, issued a statement calling the incident more evidence that “the police state in this country is growing out of control.”
Sen. Paul, who represents Kentucky, was on his way to Washington, when one of the scanners at the Nashville airport registered something that made TSA agents pull him aside for further screening.
He told the Associated Press he asked for another scan, but the agents insisted on a pat-down instead, and the senator refused.
He said he was “detained” for a time and missed his flight. He boarded another one later.
Rep. Paul, a congressman from Texas who is running for the GOP’s presidential nomination and through his campaign said Monday the airport security agency set up in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks has gone too far.
“The police state in this country is growing out of control,” Ron Paul said. “One of the ultimate embodiments of this is the TSA that gropes and grabs our children, our seniors, and our loved ones and neighbors with disabilities. The TSA does all of this while doing nothing to keep us safe.”
When asked about Rep. Paul’s comments about a police state, White House spokesman Jay Carney supported TSA’s actions.
“When an irregularity is found, passengers who refuse to comply with security procedures cannot be gained access to a secure area,” Mr. Carney said. “It is absolutely essential that we take the necessary actions to ensure that air travel is safe.”