A group of TSA agents attempted to stop Texas Congressman Ron Paul and his family from boarding their private plane at a small airport in Clearwater, Florida on Tuesday, insisting that they submit to an extensive screening and bomb check before flying.
Paul, his wife, Carol, and one of their granddaughters were preparing to depart when eight TSA agents confronted them, according to Lew Rockwell, Paul's former chief of staff.
The agents reviewed the pilots' paperwork, but demanded that they be allowed to search the aircraft for explosives. The pilots objected, pointing out that the fuel-laden airplane is an explosive itself.
"Then Carol Paul, who has a pacemaker, refused to be screened, and an aide started taking video of the whole rotten process," Rockwell writes. Eventually, the TSA backed down and allowed the Pauls to board the plane without further incident.
The purported video of this encounter has yet to be released.
Paul has been one of the most vocal critics of the TSA in Congress, lambasting the agency's use of naked body scanners and invasive pat downs in numerous campaign speeches. He also authored the American Traveler Dignity Act, a House bill that would prohibit the TSA from performing any activity that is illegal for other citizens. If passed, the bill could potentially bring the pat downs to a halt.
Paul announced the bill on the House floor in the following video:
Private aircraft are not subject to the prolonged security screenings that are required for commercial aircraft, raising the question of whether the Paul family was intentionally targeted by the TSA.
This isn't the first time that a Paul has had a run-in with the TSA. In January, Politico reported that Kentucky Senator Rand Paul was detained by TSA screeners after refusing to submit to an invasive pat down at Nashville International Airport. Rand was eventually allowed to board his flight after going through a body scanner at another screening area.