A Chinese security official was tackled by a US Secret Service agent in an incident involving the U.S. “nuclear football” during President Donald Trump’s visit to Beijing last year, according to a Sunday report by Axios.
The “football” or “president’s emergency satchel” is an 45-lb aluminum-framed Zero Halliburton briefcase inside a black leather “jacket,” in which a plastic card with the nuclear launch codes called the “nuclear biscuit” can be found. It also contains the procedures for the Emergency Broadcast System, a “black book” with a “menu” of pre-planned strike options, and a book of classified bunkers where the President can be sheltered. The football is always carried by a military aide who is required to remain nearby the President at all times.
Five people familiar with the matter described what went down to Axios’s Jonathan Swan:
The whole incident was reportedly over in a flash, and U.S. officials were told to keep quiet about it (good job guys).
Trump’s team reportedly conducted a routine security briefing with the Chinese prior to their visit to Beijing, so there was either a breakdown in communications on the Chinese end, or the scuffle was intentional.
At no point did the Chinese take possession of the nuclear football, nor even touch the briefcase – and the head of the Chinese security detail is said to have apologized to the Americans following the incident.
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