AXIOS: The Nuclear Football Caused A Scuffle Between American and Chinese Officials On Trump's China Trip

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Posted: Feb 19, 2018 8:00 AM
AXIOS: The Nuclear Football Caused A Scuffle Between American and Chinese Officials On Trump's China Trip

On November 9, 2017, President Donald J. Trump concluded his trip to China. It also marked a day when Chinese and America officials channeled their inner-Tyler Durden and got into a brief, but very embarrassing tussle over the nuclear football. It’s a classic case of someone not getting the memo. The person carrying the nuclear football is always close to the president at all times. When Trump visited the Great Hall of the People, a Chinese security official stopped the military aide from entering with the football. It ended with Chinese security grabbing White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, sending the Secret Service into action; an agent tackled the security guard. Axios has the scoop:

When the U.S. military aide carrying the nuclear football entered the Great Hall, Chinese security officials blocked his entry. (The official who carries the nuclear football is supposed to stay close to the president at all times, along with a doctor.)

A U.S. official hurried into the adjoining room and told Kelly what was happening. Kelly rushed over and told the U.S. officials to keep walking — "We're moving in," he said — and the Americans all started moving.

Then there was a commotion. A Chinese security official grabbed Kelly, and Kelly shoved the man’s hand off of his body. Then a U.S. Secret Service agent grabbed the Chinese security official and tackled him to the ground.

The whole scuffle was over in a flash, and the U.S. officials told about the incident were asked to keep quiet about it.

The news organization added that while the altercation was brief, the Chinese did not possess or even touch the briefcase that accesses America’s nuclear arsenal. Chinese officials later apologized for the screw up. 

UPDATE: Secret Service pushed back on Axios’ story, though reporter Jonathan Swan stands by it 100 percent: