On Tuesday, President Trump retweeted a 2-year-old video from comedian Daniel Lawrence Whitney’s (commonly known as Larry, the Cable Guy) depicting a TSA agent patting down a teenage boy at a security checkpoint.
Mr Trump retweeted the video with the following comment: “Not a good situation!”
The two-minute long video resurfaced on the social media site when it was shared by actor James Woods before Mr Whitney posted it on his account.
“Absolutely ridiculous! How many times do you have to feel a kid up to figure out he’s not a threat?” the comedian said in the tweet. “This is infuriating and hard to watch.”
The video posted by Mr Woods came from a Twitter account named “Deep State Exposed” operated by Jeremy Stone.
Mr Stone believes in the QAnon conspiracy theory that claims the “deep state” is orchestrating a secret plot against Mr Trump and his supporters.
“TSA goes out of their way to hire high school dropouts with an inclination for sexual perversion,” Mr Stone tweeted on Monday. “It’s mind control!!!”
In addition to libertarians and far-right commentators, QAnon conspiracy theorists cite the video to highlight examples of overly intrusive government policing.
It is uncertain if there was a specific event or reason the video was brought to Mr Trump’s attention.
The video in question initially went viral in 2017. The edited clip the president retweeted does not give the full context behind the TSA pat-down.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said the 13-year-old male passenger in the video “underwent enhanced security screening, which included a pat-down, after his laptop alarmed an explosives trace detection machine” at Dallas Fort-Worth International Airport.
“In total, the pat-down took approximately two minutes, and was observed by the mother and two police officers who were called to ease concerns of the mother,” the TSA said in a blog post.
“The passengers were at the checkpoint for approximately 45 minutes, which included the time it took to discuss screening procedures with the mother and to screen three carry-on items that required further inspection.”
The video was recorded by the boy’s mother.
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