By Sarah Gray
February 19, 2018

The U.S. Secret Service has denied a report that an agent was forced to tackle a Chinese security official after he tried to detain the American military officer carrying the U.S. nuclear launch codes during President Donald Trump’s visit to Beijing in November.

“FACT CHECK: Reports about Secret Service agents tackling a host nation official during the President’s trip to China in Nov 2017 are false,” the Secret Service tweeted Monday.

On Sunday, Axios reported that a skirmish happened when Chinese security services tired to interfere with the U.S. military aide carrying the so-called “nuclear football” — a briefcase containing the nuclear launch codes, with which the president of the United States can order a nuclear strike at any time from anywhere in the world. According to Axios, the American officer was allegedly prevented from entering the Great Hall of the People with President Donald Trump during his visit to China. The football is supposed to stay near the president at all times.

The Axios post, which cites five sources, claims the incident led to the Chinese apologizing.

The U.S. Secret Service did not immediately return calls seeking comment Monday.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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