A guest at President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida apparently took a picture of a person carrying a black bag known as the “nuclear football,” which carries the nuclear launch codes for the president.
“He carries the ‘football’ The nuclear football (also known as the atomic football, the President’s emergency satchel, the Presidential Emergency Satchel, the button, the black box, or just the football) is a briefcase, the contents of which are to be used by the President of the United States to authorize a nuclear attack while away from fixed command centers, such as the White House Situation Room,” a caption of the Facebook photo reads. The photo was later taken down.
The photos show the man carrying the briefcase.
“It functions as a mobile hub in the strategic defense system of the United States. It is held by an aide-de-camp,” the caption says.
The person also posted photos of President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump inside Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach.
The existence of the “nuclear football” isn’t classified. Former Vice President Joe Biden made a reference to the football during a campaign stump speech for Hillary Clinton last year. “There’s a guy that follows me, has the nuclear codes. So, God forbid anything happened to the president and I had to make a decision the codes are with me…He is not qualified,” he said in August.
Nuclear football in Red Square, Reagan Administration pic.twitter.com/eVON4kpnaV
— John Noonan (@noonanjo) February 13, 2017
Fmr POTUS GW Bush, 9/11/11. USMC military aide w/ “nuclear football,” right. hand, 2nd from right. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/vWwhfINzQr
— Mark Murphy (@MarkMurphy2011) February 15, 2016
— All Things WSB-TV (@AllThingsWSB) September 22, 2016
There have also been numerous photos of sightings of the “nuclear football” during previous administrations, so photos emerging of the person carrying the “football” at Trump’s resort appear to be entirely unremarkable.