On Monday, the U.S. Secret Service took to Twitter to issue an all-caps “FACT CHECK” of a Jonathan Swan report that a “skirmish” broke out last year in China after Chinese officials attempted to keep the U.S. aide tasked with carrying the “nuclear football” out of a meeting with President Trump. According to Swan’s reporting on Axios, the U.S. Secret Service ended up tackling a Chinese security official after the man attempted to grab chief of staff John Kelly:

  • When the U.S. military aide carrying the nuclear football entered the Great Hall, Chinese security officials blocked his entry. (The official who carries the nuclear football is supposed to stay close to the president at all times, along with a doctor.)
  • A U.S. official hurried into the adjoining room and told Kelly what was happening. Kelly rushed over and told the U.S. officials to keep walking — “We’re moving in,” he said — and the Americans all started moving.
  • Then there was a commotion. A Chinese security official grabbed Kelly, and Kelly shoved the man’s hand off of his body. Then a U.S. Secret Service agent grabbed the Chinese security official and tackled him to the ground.

The Secret Service denied the “tackling”:

Oh? Swan didn’t back down from his reporting, however:

So it’s the word “tackle” that’s an issue?

Let’s go to the replay booth for a ruling!

The White House later issued a statement calling the tackle a “quick scuffle”:

And later the Secret Service admitted a “short scuffle” occurred as well:

But they’re still saying nobody ever hit the ground: