Journalist: Customs agent insisted on ‘propaganda’ admission

CHANTILLY, Va. (AP) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection is investigating an allegation that a Customs agent insisted a journalist admit he writes “propaganda” before returning his passport.

Ben Watson, an editor for Defense One, wrote an article Friday about his confrontation with the agent at Dulles International Airport in northern Virginia.

Watson said he was returning from Denmark Thursday when the agent asked about his occupation. When Watson said he’s a journalist, the agent responded, “so you write propaganda, right?”

Watson says the agent repeated the question several times in a brief back-and-forth before Watson replied “for the purposes of expediting this conversation” that he writes propaganda. He then was given back his passport.

A CBP spokesman said Friday the incident is under investigation and agents are held accountable for unprofessional conduct.

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