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March 16, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – A retired 30-year Navy chaplain revealed last week that he had been repeatedly harassed as a potential security threat by the TSA while at airports, following a voluntary conversation with the FBI about his peaceful time on the Capitol steps shortly following the January 6 Trump rally.

Pressley Stutts was completely law-abiding during his time outside the Capitol, having been “invited” onto the Capitol steps by a police officer, but refusing to go any further, as he explained to the FBI during a voluntary interview. Despite this fact, he was repeatedly treated like a potential terrorist while at airports, where TSA agents repeatedly unpacked his luggage, even holding up a flight to do so, and read his personal notes.

One TSA agent reportedly admitted to Stutts, “We know where you were on January 6th.” The agent then warned that the so-called “random” stops would become more frequent.

Stutts explained to Jim Hoft and Patty McMurray of Gateway Pundit how it all started when he took a group of about 200 people from South Carolina to Washington D.C. for the Trump rally. After Trump finished his speech, they made their way up to the Capitol grounds.

Police invited crowds to go up to the Capitol

“We were up about half way to two thirds up on the steps of the Capitol. Barricades had been removed. We were invited to go up. I saw one police officer, I don’t know if he was DC police or Capitol police, but he said just go on up. There were bicycle barricades, but they had been removed,” said Stutts.

“The closer we got, we heard people yelling: ‘No Antifa, no Antifa, no Antifa.’ And we could hear the banging of something where they were trying to bang the doors in. I literally saw them poking at the windows with sticks,” Stutts continued.

“The narrative was this — that these were all Trump supporters, going to take over that Capitol. But I can tell you, all of us Trump supporters, we were in our red MAGA caps, we were wrapped in flags and things such as that, but the guys that we saw, working to try and get in, they were dressed in black and gray. We didn’t see any Trump shirts or hats on them,” he explained.

Footage released by Rudy Giuliani in January showed BLM and Antifa agitator John Sullivan teaching fellow rioters to dress in all black. In the video, Sullivan explained “proper” dress for riots: 

“Black block. A lot of people get the misconception, maybe you can wear a black t-shirt that has a logo on it, on the sleeve or on the chest?”

“No. You cannot. No logos, guys. Zero. None. You cannot have anything that they would be able to come back and identify you,” Sullivan explains, himself masked and dressed in head-to-toe black.

Stutts continued his account of his time near the Capitol: “Now it was wrong for people to break through those doors. But we got up on the steps, and at one point we were so crowded in there like sardines, and I lost my ability to keep my feet on the ground, I kind of got pushed up into the crowd, and when I did I looked up into that scaffolding and to the people that were with me I said we better leave, because if that scaffolding comes down not only are they dead, but we’re dead. So we left.”

Interrogated by the FBI

“I got a call the following morning from a friend of mine, she is the largest talk show host in the Greenville South Carolina area. She wanted a report from me. A congressman happened to hear me. He texted me and asked me if I’d be willing to talk to the FBI,” said Stutts.

“I said, ‘Why?’ He said well, they’re spinning the narrative that this was all Trump supporters breaking into the Capitol. And I said, I know it wasn’t. And he said: ‘Well, that’s why I would like you to tell your story to the FBI’.”

“So I had agreed to tell my story to the FBI. Things went fine the first 30 minutes or so. But then they turned the statement around and started interrogating me…It turned very hostile to me and finally I stopped them and I said: ‘Let me ask you a question. Am I under investigation? And they would not answer the question,” Stutts continued.

Luggage searched multiple times while traveling

Stutts explained that after his interview-turned-interrogation, he didn’t hear back from the FBI again — but was to later have a disturbing experience while flying that, which seemed to be a direct result of that encounter. 

“So to fast forward, on Friday, when I went to check in at the counter at the Greenville airport in South Carolina, I wasn’t able to pull up my boarding pass on my phone. I thought: ‘that’s weird.’ I thought maybe there was just a hiccup in the reservations.”

After an American Airlines reservation agent took 20 to 30 minutes to verify Stutts’ identity and he made his way up to the second level of the airport, the next obstacle reared its head.

“Everyone in front of me, their boarding pass is scanning green, green, green. And I scan mine and it lit up bright red. Then about three or four agents walked over to me and say, ‘sir, would you follow us please?’ They said: ‘you’ve been randomly selected to come to this line.’ And I’m thinking, yeah right.”

After Stutts got to the second line, he said, they had him completely unpack his suitcase, after which they “went through everything with a fine-tooth comb.” 

“They swab my shoes, they swab my toiletry case, they swab the inside of my suitcase, they swab my hands. The gentleman said: ‘sir, I’m going to pat you down, and I’m going to have to feel your private area, but I’ll do it with the back of my hand.’ And before then, I had to go through two different scanners that they had there. This all took about an hour,” Stutts said.

“So I get to my gate, and again at the gate there’s another set of TSA agents, who said they were randomly checking bags. I said I just had my bag checked, they stamped it with a special stamp and said I wouldn’t have to go through this again. They said: ‘oh no sir, we need to check your bag again.’ So they unzip my bag and go through this whole thing over again. Held up the plane from leaving actually. I get on the plane and I’m just fuming. Because at this point, I’m going, there’s nothing random about this.”

Stutts continued, explaining that after he got to Charlotte and was getting ready to board for the last leg of his trip to Orlando, “people with badges on” and “not just TSA employees,” went through his suitcase, pulling everything out and swabbing his hands before clearing him to finally get on the plane.

Stutts said that on his return flight, “the very same exact thing happened to me in reverse order,” and they again claimed that “there are random checks.” 

“I still had about 30 minutes when I got to my gate in Orlando. And I walked up and down the concourse looking at the other gates where planes were coming and going from. And there was not a single TSA group of people at any of those other gates. Except my gate. I do not believe it was random at all.”

According to Stutts, at that gate, a TSA agent read through some of his personal written materials. “They had given us some cards with the group we were with…I took some of those 18-inch by 24-inch cards in my suitcase. And the TSA took the time to read through every one of those cards.”

]“And then he took my notepad that I had with those cards, and he scanned through the notepad seeing what kind of notes I had taken down. This wasn’t just checking for bomb material. I felt like my free speech rights were being violated as well, because he was taking notes of everything, mental notes at least. [It was a] tremendous invasion of my privacy.”

‘I feel like I live in the USSA, not the United States of America but the United Socialist States of America’

Attorney David Reischer, CEO of, has said that, regarding legal rights at airport security, it is important to remember: “TSA agents are not law enforcement officers, and the rights granted to you under the Fourth Amendment, the ones that protect you against unreasonable search and seizure, still apply.”

“The TSA is only permitted to do 'administrative searches' of passengers and their belongings, looking for prohibited items that are intended to protect passenger safety,” Reischer said.

According to FindLaw legal dictionary, “one of the fundamental principles of administrative searches is that the government may not use an administrative inspection scheme as a pretext to search for evidence of criminal violations. “

Stutts further revealed that a friend of his who accompanied him at the airport was asked whether she knew Stutts. As soon as she responded in the affirmative, she was told to step aside so that her suitcase could be searched too.

“At its least, it’s harassment. At its worst, it’s a tyrannical message being sent to patriots who love God, who love their country,” commented Stutts.

He said that as a young boy, he “learned to love and respect the flag, and the founding fathers, and all those who had died for that flag, who died for my freedoms. When I finished graduate school seminary I ended up joining the Navy and I fought under that flag. I was a Navy chaplain, I served for 30 years.”

“Unfortunately, I buried countless men and women who died fighting for that flag. And for me to be flagged by our government as a potential terrorist is just unconscionable.”

“As we were getting onto the plane in Charlotte, coming back to Greenville, one of the TSA agents said, ‘Oh yeah, we know where you were on January 6th.’ He had a wry smile on his face. And he said, these random stops are going to increase, is what he said. And that came from a badged TSA agent talking to us,” Stutts said.

Stutts noted that he had read reports of CPAC attendees being similarly “harassed.”

“I think there’s a purge, or at least an attempt to intimidate people. I feel like I live in the USSA, not the United States of America but the United Socialist States of America. God have mercy on us, God help us and deliver us from this evil that we’re facing right now,” he said.

“There was no intention by me or anyone that went with me to go break the law. And nobody did break the law that was with me. Out of a million people, there may have been a couple hundred that found their way into the Capitol.”

“It’s a big witch hunt. I wish they would put [their] resources behind these protests that we’ve had all last summer with BLM. We know the hypocrisy reeks,” Stutts continued.

“As a society, my generation — I’m a baby boomer — we fell asleep at the wheel. We really did.”

“Here’s the thing about us patriots. We’re here to fight, we’re not gonna go away. They will have to lock us up. And I’m not asking for an invitation to that. We will continue to fight. We know that eventually the truth and righteousness will prevail.”