President Donald Trump’s Florida Mar-a-Lago resort is often frequented by resort members, their guests, presidential advisors and the president himself. Despite protection from the secret service, a recent incident at the resort has many questioning whether the resort poses a potential security risk for the president and other federal employees. According to initial reports, a Chinese national somehow gained access to the facility. She was later discovered carrying around a thumb drive with malicious software on it.
The woman, Yujing Zhang, first attempted to gain entry to the resort in the afternoon on March 30th. She reportedly told the on-duty security guards that she wanted to visit the resort’s swimming pool. The security guard attempted to discern whether Zhang was a club member or not, but he had difficulty conversing with the suspect due to a language barrier. He attempted to ask her whether her father was the person with a resort membership, but Zhang either couldn’t comprehend or couldn’t answer the question. After several minutes of looking through member lists, the security guard conceded that maybe the woman was a relative of a resort member. He gave her access to the property, but he also alerted secret service about the ordeal.
Later, a receptionist also noticed Zhang. After being asked why she was there, Zhang said she was there for a United Nations Chinese American Association event. The receptionist immediately knew that the event was a complete fabrication, so Zhang was taken to another area for further questioning. That’s when secret service agents found the thumb drive with malicious software on it. She was also carrying a laptop, a hard drive, two passports and four cellphones.
Zhang was arrested and charged with entering a restricted area and making false statements to a federal law enforcement officer. All the while, President Trump was golfing nearby.