On Monday, I caught up with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) in Washington’s Reagan National Airport after he dominated Twitter with his tale of being detained by the TSA because he refused a pat-down in Nashville. Paul told reporters waiting for him in the DC terminal that he believed he was asked to accede to the pat-down because of a scanner that was rigged to flag false-positives in order to create the excuse for a random search.
He reiterated the theory on CNN Monday afternoon. Wolf Blitzer told him the TSA offered a terse response to his claim.“We checked, you had mentioned that earlier and we went to the TSA and asked them — are there now random alerts that simply go off without any evidence that there’s a problem?” Blitzer told Paul. “And they issued a statement saying, no.”
We said, can the — TSA trigger the machine to indicate there’s an alarm? ‘No.’ And then the other question was — do the machines have alarms that randomly go off to indicate that there is an object on a person when there is no object on a person, the TSA insists the answer is ‘No.’
Paul sticks by his theory, saying two TSA officials he won’t name told him the machines are rigged to create the need for pat-downs.