Sen. Rand Paul detained for refusing TSA patdown, spokeswoman says

Erik Schelzig/AP

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., was detained by airport security officials on Monday, according to his communications director Moira Bagley, who posted about the incident on Twitter. "Just got a call from @senrandpaul. He's currently being detained by TSA in Nashville," Bagley wrote. She did not immediately respond to an email for further information. Paul's father, GOP presidential candidate and Texas Rep. Ron Paul, also confirmed the report on his Twitter and Facebook accounts. The elder Paul's Facebook post had racked up 2,000 comments in the first 30 minutes. The senior Paul wrote that his son was "being detained by TSA for refusing full body pat-down after anomaly in body scanner in Nashville." TSA, which is responsible for airport security, has been the target of public outrage in recent years for its screening practices, which include full-body scans and what critics have described as invasive pat-downs. TSA confirmed the incident, without naming Paul, but denied that any passenger had been "detained." "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," the agency said in a statement. "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." The Transportation Security Administration, which is responsible for airport security, has been the target of public outrage in recent years for its screening practices, which include full-body scans and what critics have described as invasive pat-downs. The TSA confirmed the incident, without naming Paul, but denied that any passenger had been "detained." "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," the agency said in a statement. "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."

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