Chinese woman arrested at Trump resort with malware on thumb drive

Cheryl Sanders
April 3, 2019

Federal authorities have charged a Chinese woman with trying to infiltrate Mar-a-Lago over the weekend while President Donald Trump was staying at his South Florida resort.

Zhang was detained, and later told agents that a "Chinese friend" had told her to travel to Mar-a-Lago and speak with a member of Trump's family about U.S. After passing the initial security checkpoint and taking a brief ride with club staff on a golf cart, Zhang was confronted by an employee in the main reception area. According to an affidavit filed by a Secret Service agent, Zhang "became aggressive" when agents read her Miranda rights.

While AP initially reported no connection between Zhang and Li Yang, a Chinese native who marketed her Florida massage parlor to Chinese businessmen with the promise she could get them into Mar-a-Lago and meet the USA president, with whom she has been photographed, the Miami Herald reported on Tuesday that the event Zhang said she was headed to was one of two promoted by Yang on her website.

Agent Samuel Ivanovich wrote in court documents that Zhang told him that she was there for the Chinese American event and had come early to familiarize herself with the club and take photos, again contradicting what she had said at the checkpoint.

The woman was charged with making false statements to federal agents and illegally entering a restricted area.

She showed her Chinese passports as identification, according to court documents.

The manager of the club reportedly thought Zhang was the daughter of a member of the club and granted her entry.

The g-men noted Zhang had no problem reading and speaking English.

Yujing Zhang, 32, got through multiple layers of security at the US president's West Palm Beach resort over the weekend by pretending she didn't speak English well, was confused about her destination, and was there to attend a US-China worldwide event.

The agent said that a search of Zhang's possessions found a laptop, an external hard drive, and a thumb drive.

There is no indication Zhang was ever near the president.

Yang recently made news after it was learned she was promising Chinese business leaders that her consulting firm could get them access to Mar-a-Lago, where they could mingle with the president.

She allegedly arrived at Mar-a-Lago and told a Secret Service agent that she wanted to go to the pool.

There is also no indication that she is connected to Li Yang, a Chinese native, Republican donor and former Florida massage parlor owner.

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