US, China scuffled over nuclear ‘football’ in Beijing

Written by on February 19, 2018

US and Chinese officials scuffled over the nuclear “football” containing launch codes during President Donald Trump’s visit to China in November, US news website Axios reported Sunday.

The incident occurred while Trump and his team visited the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, when Chinese security officials blocked the entry of the aide carrying the “football,” according to Axios.

A briefcase needed to launch nuclear weapons, commonly referred to as the “football,” is always accompanied by a military officer and kept close to the president at all times.

US officials alerted Trump’s chief of staff John Kelly who rushed over and told the officials to “keep walking,” according to the Axios reporter who spoke to five sources familiar with the event.

A Chinese security official then grabbed Kelly, who pushed the man off him. A US secret service agent then tackled the Chinese official to the ground.

At no point did Chinese officials touch the football and the Chinese head of security later apologized.

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