(CNSNews.com) – President Donald J. Trump retweeted a video on Wednesday showing an apparently excessive pat-down by TSA agents of a 13-year-old boy wearing a t-shirt and shorts, a security search the boy’s mother described as a trip “through Hell,” and Trump commented, “Not a good situation!”
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway also retweeted the video, asking, “How is this real?” in reference to the apparently excessive security search.
The video is from March 2017, when Jennifer Williamson, her daughter, and her son, Aaron Williamson, went to the Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport to catch a flight to San Diego, Calif., for a vacation.
While going through the security screening, a laptop they had reportedly triggered TSA to conduct a more thorough search. The mother and her two children were delayed for 45 minutes and they missed their flight to San Diego.
During the pat-down of Aaron Williamson, who was wearing a t-shirt and shorts -- no socks or shoes – a TSA agent, wearing medical gloves, searched the boy’s entire body extensively, including patdowns of the boys buttocks – back of hands used – and a clearly intimate pat-down of the boys groin. (See the video.)
Jennifer Williamson videotaped the pat-down and posted it to Facebook, where it generated extensive national and international attention. Local and national news media reported on the incident.
In her March 26, 2017 post, Miss Willamson said, “We have been through hell this morning. They detained Aaron for well over an hour at DFW. (And deliberately kept us from our flight… we are now on an alternate). We were treated like dogs because I requested they attempt to screen him in other ways per TSA rules. He has SPD [Sensory Processing Disorder] and I didn’t want my child given a pat down like this.
“… I am livid. Please, share … make this viral like the other children’s videos with TSA…. I wish I had taped the entire interchange because it was horrifying. We had two DFW police officers that were called and flanking him on each side. Somehow these power tripping TSA agents who are traumatizing children and doing whatever they feel like without any cause, need to be reined in.”
In an interview with the NBC Nightly News on March 28, 2017, Aaron Williamson said, “Whenever this officer was touching me in certain areas, I was taught that nobody should touch you in that area. And whenever someone's touching you like that you would think, 'Oh, Who is this person and why are they doing this?'
"And for all that reason I didn't want to make a big scene, because my Mom got asked, 'Be escorted out with the police or go to San Diego...' And I really wanted to go to San Diego and I wanted to go to Disneyland and all of that stuff."
As a result of the attention generated by Miss Williamson’s video, the TSA released a statement then that read,
“TSA allows for a pat-down of a teenage passenger, and in this case, all approved procedures were followed to resolve an alarm of the passenger’s laptop.
"The video shows a male TSA officer explaining the procedure to the passenger, who fully cooperates. Afterward, the TSA officer was instructed by his supervisor, who was observing, to complete the final step of the screening process.
"In total, the pat-down took approximately two minutes, and was observed by the mother and two police officers who were called to mitigate the concerns of the mother.”
The TSA also explained that the screening took 45 minutes because they had to explain to the travelers what would occur and what the security measures were they were required to follow.
CNSNews.com contacted the TSA by telephone and email and Miss Williamson by Facebook Messenger for a response concerning President Trump’s retweet of the video, but neither party responded before this story was posted.