Texas Republican gubernatorial candidate Allen West says a confrontation at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport on Wednesday led to him "flicking" the mask off the person who insulted him for not wearing a mask.
West, the former Texas GOP chair, said in a statement that airport police officers took a report on the morning incident, which began after he was confronted by a man "who cursed and insulted him for not wearing a mask."
West "responded by flicking the individual’s mask off," his statement said. West left after the man "raised his fists."
"This morning at the airport a man starts yelling at me and tells me to put my mask on and calls me an idiot," West wrote on Twitter. "I walked over to him and asked if he called me an idiot, he continued to yell at me. I pulled down his mask and said, 'See, nothing happened.'"
"There’s no mask law, nothing has ever passed in the US House and Senate making wearing a mask law," he wrote.
Face coverings are required on all public transportation, including airports, through at least January.
The man who confronted West has not been identified. It's not clear if he knew West, who called the man a "left-wing partisan" and likened the incident to others involving conservative critics of COVID-19 restrictions.
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West was hospitalized in Plano with COVID-19 in October.
West is a former Texas Republican Party chair and Florida congressman. He announced in July that he would challenge Republican Gov. Greg Abbot, who is running for a third term and has been endorsed by Donald Trump.