President Trump jetted off to his Florida resort Mar-a-Lago on Wednesday instead of attending the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, marking the first time there will be two nuclear footballs in play.
The nuclear codes Trump brought will be deactivated at noon just as Biden takes the oath of office, according to the Independent, at which point a new set of codes will be handed to the new president.
Typically, the nuclear football, also known as “the biscuit,” which is toted by military officials whenever the commander-in-chief travels, is transferred from the president to his successor on inauguration day.
But this year, Trump decided to leave the White House before the Capitol ceremony for Florida and skip the event.
Shortly after Trump arrives at his resort around 11 a.m. the codes, used to authenticate his orders, will be deactivated.
New codes and another nuclear football will be ready for Biden after he takes the oath of office.
Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Buzz Patterson, who carried the 40-pound satchel for former President Clinton, said the transfer of the codes is taken very seriously.
“We war game this stuff, and we practice it ad nauseam for years and years,” Patterson told Business Insider. “There are systems in place to make sure that happens instantaneously. There won’t be any kind of question about who has it, who is in charge at that point in time.”
“We don’t take this stuff lightly,” he said. “There won’t be any kind of hiccup. It’ll just go down without anybody even noticing, which is what is supposed to happen.”