On Saturday, Yujing Zhang entered the Mar-a-Lago club premises with a Chinese language invitation to attend a United Nations Friendship Event. The event was not on the books. A thumb drive containing malware was found on her person, and she was subsequently arrested.
“Her arrest revealed gaps in Mr. Trump’s security,” notes the New York Times. While the Secret Service is responsible for protecting the President, it is not responsible for memorizing the roster of club members, recognizing their guests, or for keeping track of who has which exclusive club privileges, relying on property staff for that sort of information. Writer and local resident Laurence Leamer, who published a book about the resort, states that security “seems to me to be incredibly lax.”
Officials have not yet determined the motives underlying Ms. Zhang’s entry onto the Mar-a-Lago property, however, suspicions abound. The event that she seemingly intended to participate in was publicized by individual with connections to the Chinese government and Communist Party, who had also attended a fund-raiser for Mr. Trump last year, and snapped a picture with him.
For people with an interest in influencing U.S. politics, obtaining club membership, integrating into the community, and potentially bumping into the President or his advisers at an event is an easy win. Inevitably, the operation of a private club used to garner political favor is an enterprise rife with security concerns.
On the condition of anonymity, a former employee revealed that previous cyber security breaches have occurred at the club.
Get the full story at The New York Times.