News by VICE

U.S. and Chinese agents had a full-on "scuffle" over the "nuclear football"

“We’re moving in.”

by David Gilbert
Feb 19 2018, 11:05am

Getty Images

American and Chinese security officials wrestled on the ground over the U.S. “nuclear football” during Donald Trump’s state visit last year, Axios reported Monday.

The fight broke out on Nov. 9 when Trump visited the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Five sources told Axios that the soldier charged with carrying the briefcase that contains the U.S. nuclear authorization codes, which stay close to the president at all times, was denied entry to the building.

Made aware of the situation, Chief of Staff John Kelly reportedly told U.S. officials to keep walking, saying: “We’re moving in.”

A Chinese security official then reportedly grabbed Kelly, who shoved the man’s hand away. A U.S. Secret Service agent intervened, tackling the Chinese official to the ground. The scuffle broke up soon after.

It remains unclear if there was a miscommunication about the president’s security detail or why the “football” was stopped.

China reportedly apologized to the U.S. officials for the incident and at no point did any Chinese personnel interfere with the briefcase.

Cover image: A military aide carries the nuclear football as he walks toward Marine One to depart with U.S. President Donald Trump., on December 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)