Chinese officials have reportedly apologized for the incident. The White House has yet to comment on the media report.
According to Axios citing its sources, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and a US Secret Service agent scuffled with Chinese security officials over the country’s nuclear “football,” the black leather briefcase containing the nuclear launch codes for the POTUS, during a visit to China last November as part of his Asian tour.
The US “president’s emergency satchel” is always carried by a military aide, who is required to remain close to the Commander-in-Chief at all times.
When US President Donald Trump met with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, Chinese security allegedly blocked the entry of the aide carrying the nuclear “football.”
Kelly was quickly informed about the problem and reportedly “rushed over,” telling US officials, “We’ve moving in,” after which the White House Chief of Staff was “grabbed” by a Chinese security official. In turn, John Kelly pushed away the official’s hand, Axios reported. Following the incident, a US Secret Service agent allegedly tacked the Chinese official to the ground.
Later, the Chinese side reportedly apologized for the incident as the US briefcase had never been touched by any foreign official.
The White House has yet to comment on the media report.