A Secret Service agent tackled a Chinese security official over the nuclear football when Trump visited China

  • Axios reported on Sunday that during President Donald Trump's trip to China in November, a Secret Service member tackled a Chinese security official.
  • The incident reportedly began when Chinese detail tried to prevent the military aide carrying the "nuclear football" from entering a room behind Trump.
  • White House Chief of Staff John Kelly intervened, and was grabbed by a Chinese security official, who was then tackled by a Secret Service agent.
  • The nuclear football was never in contact with a foreign official, and the Chinese security detail later apologized.


During President Donald Trump's visit to Beijing last November, a US Secret Service agent reportedly tackled a Chinese security official after attempts to block the movement of the "nuclear football."

The nuclear football, officially known as the "president's emergency satchel," is a black leather briefcase that allows the US president to authorize a nuclear strike while away from a command center. It is carried by a military aide and is supposed to be in close proximity to the president at all times.

But according to a report from Axios, when Trump met with President Xi Jinping in Beijing's Great Hall of the People, Chinese security blocked the entry of the aide carrying the nuclear football. 

A US official quickly informed Trump's Chief of Staff John Kelly who "rushed over" and told US officials, "We're moving in."

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As the US delegation started moving into the hall, a Chinese security official "grabbed Kelly" who pushed away the man's hand, according to Axios. It was then that a US Secret Service agent tackled the security official to the ground.

The briefcase was reportedly never touched by a foreign official, but the head of the Chinese security head later apologized about the incident.

Five sources confirmed the incident, which reportedly ended almost as quickly as it begun, according to Axios. 

Last year, during one of Trump's many visits to his Mar-a-Lago resort in southern Florida, a club member took a photo of a military aide who was reportedly responsible for carrying the nuclear football and posted it on Instagram. The incident raised concerns over whether the briefcase is still the best way for highly sensitive military information to be made available to the president on short notice.

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RELATED: US Secret Service through the years

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Members of the Secret Service are pictured before the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States Friday -- capping his improbable journey to the White House and beginning a four-year term that promises to shake up Washington and the world.

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SEE ALSO: Bill Clinton once lost the nuclear codes for months, and a 'comedy of errors' kept anyone from finding out

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