SC Politics

William Timmons: ‘No, I Did Not Go Berserk’ On TSA Agents

Congressman claims airport incident was a “non-incident.”

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Embattled United States congressman William Timmons of South Carolina went on a friendly radio show last Wednesday (April 17, 2024) to “set the record straight” regarding his involvement in an incident at the Greenville-Spartanburg Airport (GSP) earlier this month.

Last weekend, we reported there was “some sort of confrontation” between Timmons and officers of the U.S. Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) as the third-term lawmaker was attempting to board a flight to Washington, D.C.

Details of the confrontation have not been made public, but our outlet has prepared federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests in the hopes of obtaining, among other things, video footage of the incident.

Our sources indicated Timmons complained about what happened to him to TSA brass, but he denied doing that during an appearance on 98.9 WORD with host Tara Servatius.

“There’s a lot of misinformation out there – I definitely didn’t file a complaint,” Timmons told Servatius.

Timmons did admit to having a meeting with TSA administrator David P. Pekoske in the aftermath of the incident, however.

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According to the congressman, the incident – which he described as a “non-issue” – began when he was chosen for “additional screening” prior to boarding his flight to our nation’s capital earlier this month.

“This is the issue: I’ve been randomly selected for additional screening about a half dozen times over the last six or eight months,” Timmons said. “One, that just doesn’t seem right. Number two, when I am randomly selected, the protocols that they use have been very different.”

Timmons claimed he activated a metal detector while going through security and was asked to submit to a “physical pat down” – something to which he was not inclined to agree.

“I said ‘no, I don’t want a physical pat down,’ what are our options?” he recalled. “In other instances they’ve offered a private screening with no physical contact and I said ‘well, I don’t want to get this pat down’ and they said ‘well, you have to.’ And so we went back and forth on that and then I said, ‘well look, I don’t think that that’s the protocol but … cool.'”

“So I let them do the pat down then I got on the plane,” Timmons continued.

(Click to View)

TSA agents at the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP)

Timmons said upon arriving in D.C. he was “fortunate enough to meet with the TSA administrator” who confirmed that the congressman – like any air traveler – was “entitled to a private screening with no physical contact.”

As for Timmons’ conduct during the exchange with TSA, Servatius indicated her sources had told her the congressman “went berserk” during the encounter.

“Will I see that on a video or no?” Servatius asked.

“That’s – that’s ridiculous,” Timmons responded. “No, I did not go berserk – but I didn’t want to receive a physical pat-down, which again, is very reasonable especially since it’s the sixth one I’ve had in, I mean, it’s gotta be six or eight months.”

Timmons then claimed one reason he could have been singled out by TSA was due to his “conservative outspokenness.”

After saying she sympathized with Timmons on that score “because I’m on that same program,” Servatius pressed him once more about his conduct.

“So if FITSNews gets that video we will not see you being rude or raising your voice or anything like that with the TSA?” she asked.

“Absolutely not,” Timmons said. “Look, we had a disagreement because they were not abiding by protocol. I mean, that’s what it comes down to. I was entitled to a private screening and they were not technically allowed to do what they did. So was I annoyed? Sure. But I think anybody would be annoyed.”

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Timmons went on to say the whole thing “was a non-incident,” and that people who “need help” were spreading it to cause him political harm.

“There’s a lot of lying going on and a lot of misrepresenting the truth, so – I’m sure they’ll be more of that – but look, it was a very mild incident where we disagreed on protocol and in the end the TSA administrator confirmed that I was not required to get a physical pat-down,” Timmons said.

This media outlet has said nothing about Timmons’ conduct vis-à-vis the confrontation except that we are seeking information related to it. We also reached out to him for his take on what transpired, but did not hear back.

Timmons is still recovering from the ‘Days of our Congressman’ saga, a self-induced implosion in his personal life that spit out damaging headlines for months on end. Things have gotten so bad for him he’s been forced to use tax money to boost his tattered image as he faces a credible challenge from Adam Morgan, chairman of the S.C. Freedom Caucus.

Timmons and Morgan face voters on June 11, 2024.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

(Travis Bell Photography)

Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina and before that he was a bass guitarist and dive bar bouncer. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and eight children.

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2 comments

Nancy Bryson Top fan April 22, 2024 at 7:52 am

Agree with Congressman Timmons on this one.

Reply
Kimmie Top fan April 25, 2024 at 4:07 pm

Aside from the article topic – I would love to see Will Folks and Tara Servatius collaborate on something. It would be cool to have Folks come on Tara’s show once a month or so and give a brief on the political news in the Midlands and have Tara do the same for the Upstate on Will’s platform. It’s good to see the two acknowledge one another, from time to time. They are two of the finest investigative journalists in the state.

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