Secret Service Denies Reports of Scuffle Over 'Nuclear Football' With Chinese Security

  • Secret Service Denies Reports of Scuffle Over 'Nuclear Football' With Chinese Security

Secret Service Denies Reports of Scuffle Over 'Nuclear Football' With Chinese Security

A scuffle broke out between Chinese and US officials over the "nuclear football" - the briefcase containing the United States nuclear launch codes - during a visit to Beijing by US President Donald Trump past year, according to media reports.

Chinese security officials blocked the U.S. military aide carrying the briefcase that carries the procedures and communications equipment that allow the USA leader to launch nuclear missiles as the official entered the Great Hall, according to the Axios news website.

Kelly was quickly informed about the problem and reportedly "rushed over", telling USA officials, "We've moving in", after which the White House chief of staff was "grabbed" by a Chinese security official.

The sources say the Chinese official was tackled after he grabbed Kelly and Kelly shoved his hand off his body. A Secret Service agent then tackled the Chinese security official, the publication reported.

But a Chinese security official tried to stop Kelly, even putting his hand on the former Marine general.

This was not the first time the USA officials met with hindrance during a visit to China.

Five sources confirmed the incident, which reportedly ended nearly as quickly as it begun, according to Axios. Chinese officials later apologized for the screw up.

The head of the Chinese security detail also apologised to the Americans afterwards, according to the report, and the briefcase carrying the nuclear codes was not touched by Chinese officials.

In September 2016, US and Chinese officials had a dispute over how the president would exit Air Force One during President Obama's visit to eastern China for the Group of 20 summit meeting in Hangzhou.

The nuclear football is a briefcase that contains the launch codes to be used by the president in case of authorizing a nuclear attack.

The nuclear football bag, aluminum-framed and weighing 20kg goes everywhere the president goes, carried by a military aide.

The earliest known photograph of a military official trailing the U.S. head of state with the signature black briefcase dates back to the Kennedy presidency in 1963.