President Barack Obama has asked security officials whether there's a less intrusive way to screen US airline passengers than the pat-downs and body scans causing a holiday-season uproar.
For now, they've told him there isn't one, the president said Saturday in response to a question at the NATO summit in Lisbon.
"I understand people's frustrations," Obama said, while acknowledging that he's never had to undergo the stepped-up screening methods.
Passengers at some US airports must pass through full-body scanners that produce a virtually naked image. If travelers refuse, they can be forced to undergo time-consuming fingertip examinations, including of clothed genital areas and breasts, by inspectors of the same sex as the passenger.