Federal prosecutors have filed charges against a woman carrying Chinese passports accused of illegally entering President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, CNN informed.
Yujing Zhang claimed a friend had asked her to fly from Shanghai to the club to try to speak to a member of Trump’s family about economic relations between the U.S. and China, according to the complaint.
Secret Service agents at the entrance were told she was there to “go to the pool” and admitted her after she produced two People’s Republic of China passports as identification and they believed she was related to a club member also named Zhang, the complaint said.
But staff quickly became suspicious when she didn’t know where she wanted to go inside the property. She told a receptionist she was there to attend a non-existent United Nations Friendship Event between China and the United States that evening.
The nonexistent event was due to take place in the evening but Zhang said she had arrived to “familiarize herself with the property and take pictures.”
After agents were alerted to Zhang’s presence, she produced what she claimed was an invitation to the event, the complaint says. But “agents were unable to read it as it was in Chinese.”
Trump was staying at Mar-a-Lago on that date, though he was not on the property at the time of Zhang’s alleged visit. After she was detained, Secret Service agents searched multiple electronic devices including four cellphones, a laptop computer, an external “hard drive type” device and a thumb drive.
There is no evidence that the malware contained on Zhang’s thumb drive got anywhere close to Trump’s electronic devices or the public Mar-a-Lago network, but the fact that it was able to get into the same building raises more uncomfortable questions about the President’s security practices, The Verge adds.
When asked about the incident Wednesday, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Geng Shuang said he had no information on Zhang’s arrest, CNN adds.
Agents removed Zhang from the Mar-a-Lago property and interviewed her. According to prosecutors, Zhang “claimed her Chinese friend ‘Charles’ told her to travel from Shanghai, China, to Palm Beach, Florida, to attend this event and attempt to speak with a member of the President’s family about Chinese and American foreign economic relations.”