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Texas Congressman says he was assaulted during TSA pat-down

Rep. Francisco Canseco, R-Texas, says he was assaulted during a recent pat-down at San Antonio International Airport.

During the pat-down, Canseco moved the security agent's hand aside when it became too uncomfortable, Kyler Arnold, a spokesperson for Canseco, told msnbc.com. The Congressman did not know why he had been selected for additional screening.

“The agent was very aggressive in his pat-down, and he was patting me down where no one is supposed to go,” Canseco told San Antonio TV station KENS5.  “It got very uncomfortable so I moved his hand away. That stopped everything and brought in supervisors and everyone else.”

Both men claimed they were assaulted during the incident. The Transportation Security Administration told KENS5 that neither man was cited. 

Canseco flew through San Antonio a week later, on April 22, and was again pulled aside for a pat-down.

“I did not see it as a coincidence,” Canseco told KENS5.  “I asked them why are you going to pat me down again, so we discussed it further and after discussing it further, they patted me down.”

"TSA has been contacted by the Congressman's office and will respond to them directly," the agency said in statement sent to msnbc.com. "Once a passenger enters the screening process, they must complete it prior to continuing to a flight or secure area" which, TSA notes, Canseco did.

“The American people expect and deserve to be safe and secure from the threat of terrorism when they board a commercial aircraft,” Canseco told msnbc.com in a statement. “However, I believe that TSA has become an agency without restraint, and its overzealous policies threaten people’s personal dignity and freedom. There are other ways of securing airways from terrorists without forcing people to make such sacrifices, which I believe we in Congress should look into.”

In January, Sen. Rand Paul, a vocal critic of TSA, clashed with screeners at a Nashville airport when he refused to submit to a pat-down. 

Former TSA administrator and author Kip Hawley joins Morning Joe to discuss his new book "Permanent Emergency."

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