Secret Service: We're not allowed to vet every shady Mar-a-Lago visitor
Trump has opened up the country to threats because he insists on profiting from his luxury properties like Mar-a-Lago.
Chinese citizen Yujing Zhang had four cellphones, a thumb drive infected with malware and two Chinese passports when she was arrested on Trump’s property over the weekend, highlight how Trump’s insistence on using the property makes America vulnerable.
“The Secret Service does not determine who is invited or welcome at Mar-a-Lago; this is the responsibility of the host entity,” the Secret Service said in a statement on Tuesday.
Zhang may have been attempting to attend an event advertised on social media by Li “Cindy” Yang, the “massage parlor” founder in the middle of a human trafficking investigation. The Miami Herald reported Yang had promoted two events at Mar-a-Lago that day, though neither ended up happening.
Yang has been accused of selling access to Trump and his family and has appeared in photos at multiple Trump events alongside his sons Don Jr. and Eric.
Trump uses his own properties, especially Mar-a-Lago, as a hub for presidential activity since he took office. But because it is Trump’s own, the Secret Service says it cannot secure it in the same fashion they do U.S. government property.
Trump still has a financial connection to his properties, rather than severing it or putting his holdings in a blind trust like other presidents. This has allowed him to use his office as a profit-generating enterprise, putting properties like Mar-a-Lago on the world stage while still selling memberships there.
Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) called out Trump for his negligent and possibly dangerous behavior, as the intrusion highlighted, during an appearance on CNN.
The intrusion raised “huge concerns” for her, and as she explained to anchor John Berman, “We have Camp David precisely for the President of the United States to use it as a retreat. We spend millions of dollars of taxpayer money every year to maintain it. He has been there once.”
Trump has spent 236 days of his presidency at Trump properties, with 95 of those days spent at Mar-a-Lago.
Trump “goes to Mar-a-Lago because he wants to, once again, feather his nest, create great interest in that facility, up the cost of initiation to be a member and it’s very porous as we have just found out,” Speier explained.
“We are ripe for the picking by the Chinese, the Russians, and any number of other adversaries and the president is making us more vulnerable.”
Congress is currently investigating the extraordinary level of influence Trump gave his Mar-a-Lago members over policy at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, while also probing Yang’s activities in relation to Trump.
Trump has a security problem repeatedly caused by his own poor decision-making. His drive for profits and decision to bend the rules for his closest insiders has opened up the country to threats.
Trump has opened the doors and the country is ripe for the picking.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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