Mar-a-Lago Arrest Raises Espionage, Security Concerns

Counterintelligence probe focuses on Mar-a Lago as a target of Chinese espionage report

President Trump on Wednesday downplayed the idea his Florida club has lax security after the arrest of a woman who had two Chinese passports and a device with malware on its grounds.

The complaint said Zhang approached the club midday, said she was going to the pool and provided two Chinese passports to a Secret Service agent.

As palm trees swayed in the ocean breeze, Yujing Zhang approached Secret Service agents in the Mar-a-Lago parking lot.

According to CNN's Erin Burnett, security at Mar-a Lago allowed Zhang to enter the property because of a misunderstanding due to a language barrier.

A federal prosecutor called Zhang "an extreme risk of flight" and said she had no ties to the U.S. or Mar-a-Lago area, the audio showed.

Chinese Woman Arrested for Carrying Malware in US President Donald Trump's Resort.

Early in Trump's presidency, the world saw pictures taken by a Mar-a-Lago member showing Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as they considered how to respond to a North Korean missile test - at a table during a dinner on the club's terrace.

Cummings said he is "concerned when people are able to get into the facility in Mar-a-Lago and [are] roaming around with all kinds of communications equipment".

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Later the same year, Trump hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago as the United States conducted airstrikes on Syria and the two world leaders ate the "most handsome piece of chocolate cake that you've ever seen", as Trump put it. "No, I'm not concerned at all", The Hill quoted Trump as saying on Wednesday. Her activities "could permit adversary governments or their agents access to these same politicians to acquire potential material for blackmail or other even more nefarious purposes", they wrote in their letter to Wray, director of national intelligence Daniel Coats and Secret Service Director Randolph Alles.

"I think that was just a fluke situation, and I think that the person sitting at the front desk did a very good job, to be honest with you". "I think it's very, very, very, very important that the president be protected".

The name is possibly a reference to Charles Lee, described as the secretary-general of the United Nations Chinese Friendship Association (UNCFA) in online documents and newspaper articles.

Trump said Tuesday he's waiting for more information about the incident.

Potential interest from China in Mar-a-Lago has drawn particular scrutiny.

The alleged breach underscored wide-ranging security concerns about the President's Florida club, which has been scrutinized for not having the tight security protocols at the actual White House or the retreats frequently used by past presidents.

In a March 15 letter to Wray, the top Democrats on the House and Senate Judiciary and Intelligence Committees asked the FBI to investigate whether Yang had used her connections to Trump and his club to facilitate business opportunities for Chinese executives.

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