Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul said that his son, Sen. Rand Paul, was detained by TSA agents at a Nashville airport, following a refusal for a full-body pat down.
Ron Paul's presidential campaign released a statement Monday harshly criticizing TSA for their actions.
"The police state in this country is growing out of control. 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 statement said. "The TSA does all of this while doing nothing to keep us safe."
Paul used his Facebook page to update the incident, which happened Monday morning in Nashville, Tenn. He posted that the detainment was due to an "anomaly" in his son's initial body scan.
"There was an 'anomaly' in Rand's initial body scan, so my son requested to be scanned a second time. TSA demanded a full body pat down and Rand refused," Paul wrote on Facebook.
He then posted that his son, the Kentucky senator, was being detained by TSA officials at the Nashville Airport. TSA disputed Paul's reports, saying that Rand Paul was not detained at any point.
Rand Paul was blocked from boarding the flight for refusing a full body pat-down, according to Politico. TSA officials say he triggered an alarm during a routine airport screening. When TSA asked him to let them conduct a full body pat-down, Paul refused and requested to pass through the scanner again. He was then removed from the boarding process and booked a later flight.
"Passengers, as in this case, who refuse to comply with security procedures are denied access to the secure gate area. He was escorted out of the screening area by local law enforcement," a TSA official said.
Around noon, Paul rebooked another flight and went through the screening process without incident, reports Politico. Initially, Paul told Associated Press reporters that he was detained after refusing the pat down and held in a small cubicle, causing him to miss his flight to Washington.
TSA stood firmly against Paul's criticisms and defended their screening process. TSA spokeswoman Jonella Culmer said that a passenger cannot be granted access to a secure area after refusing the screening process to ensure safety of others.
"When an irregularity is found during the TSA screening process, it must be resolved prior to allowing a passenger to proceed to the secure area of the airport," Culmer said. "Passengers who refuse to complete the screening process cannot be granted access to the secure area in order to ensure the safety of others traveling."