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Changing nuclear codes is more difficult than in previous years, as Donald Trump refused to attend the inauguration of President Joe Biden.

You may have seen in movies or documentaries that the US President has a bag or two wherever he goes. They are a person’s responsibility and are intended to facilitate US interaction with nuclear weapons. Often, they are referred to as “nuclear symbols”, but Americans still call it American football.

When the Washington administration changes, those codes change owners. But this is not the usual inauguration, and things are a little more complicated because Trump does not want to be the presenter to hand over the codes to the new White House president. For the first time, two levels are necessary compared to the past decades.

This time, two copies of a special suitcase this year contain all the components needed for a nuclear attack and come with the US president in all circumstances, to shift the codes that are usually cleverly made to the investment list.

On Wednesday morning, Donald Trump was still president of the United States when he flew from the Andrews military base near Washington to his home in Mar-a-Lago, Florida. From this position, he was accompanied by a military adviser who carried the famous suitcase known as ‘football’. At the same time, Trump still had a plastic card with atomic symbols called ‘biscuits’.

In Washington, meanwhile, a military adviser had another suitcase and another card with a nuclear impact. The latter was considered for the new president, Joe Biden, and the martial law that carried them was in a great position on Capitol’s steps.

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Finally, at noon, when the president’s adviser traditionally handed the suitcase to the new president’s military adviser at the end of his term, Donald Trump’s card crashed into the distance like an expired credit card. At the same time, a new card assigned to Joe Biden was implemented in Washington, which officially gave the 46th President of the United States full authority to use nuclear weapons.

While this may seem complicated, it is important to remember that there is no need to create a new suitcase because of Donald Trump’s wishes. The U.S. executive always has three suitcases: one is always with the president, one in the vice president’s office if something happens to the president, and one is in reserve.

Gillian Patton

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