John Kelly reportedly got into a 'physical altercation' with a Chinese official over the nuclear football and wanted an apology under the US flag

John Kelly

  • White House chief of staff John Kelly got into a physical altercation with a Chinese official during President Donald Trump’s visit to Beijing last year, The Wall Street Journal reports. 
  • Kelly reportedly told colleagues he would not accept an apology from the official unless it occurred under a US flag in Washington, DC. 
  • Relations between Washington and Beijing are tense as Trump spars with the Chinese government over trade, among other issues.

White House chief of staff John Kelly got into a physical altercation with a Chinese official during President Donald Trump’s visit to Beijing last year and refused to accept an apology, The Wall Street Journal reported

The official was reportedly attempting to access the nuclear footballa 45-pound aluminum briefcase that’s always by the president’s side and is carried by a military aide. The briefcase contains information and instructions for the president on how to conduct a nuclear strike. 

Kelly reportedly told colleagues he would not accept an apology from the official unless it occurred under a US flag in Washington, DC. 

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider. 

According to earlier reports on the alleged incident, a Secret Service member tackled the official after the military aide carrying the football was blocked from following the president into a room.

Kelly reportedly intervened, the Chinese official grabbed him, and Secret Service tackled the official. 

The official never actually touched the football and the head of Chinese security apologized. But it seems Kelly may not have accepted. 

Relations between Washington and Beijing are tense as Trump spars with the Chinese government over trade, among other issues. The US intelligence community has also repeatedly warned of China’s efforts to steal US trade and technology secrets and says it is working to interfere in US elections. 

Many of the president’s top advisers have deeply skeptical views of the Chinese government, despite Trump’s public praise for Chinese President Xi Jinping. 

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

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Source: Business insider

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