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Graphic shows contents of the nuclear “football’ and proceedings to allow the transfer of the nuclear football from President Trump to President Joe Biden.


Trump to take the nuclear football with him on his final day

By Jordi Bou

January 20, 2021 - The nuclear codes are transferred immediately when the new president is sworn into office. But as Donald Trump has chosen to miss Joe Biden’s inauguration, the Pentagon had to find an alternative plan

All presidents and a military aide together carry the tools necessary to launch the country’s nuclear weapons: anywhere, anytime.

Those two tools, called the “nuclear football” (a briefcase) and the “nuclear biscuit” (the activation codes), are carried around with the U.S. president at all times, and transferred to whoever assumes office on inauguration day, usually around noon.

But this time, due to the fact that Trump will not attend the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, the transfer could be more complicated.

The Pentagon intends to send one nuclear football to Florida with Trump, then deactivate nuclear codes at noon on Jan 20 as newly sworn-in President Biden takes possession of second ootball and separate set of nuclear codes in Washington DC.f

PUBLISHED: 19/01/2021; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Smithsonian, Getty Images