Woman arrested at Mar-a-Lago Club with 2 Chinese passports, malware, feds say
A woman illegally entered President Trump's Mar-a-Lago club while in Florida over the weekend while carrying two Chinese passports and malware, federal prosecutors alleged.
Yujing Zhang, 32, visited the president's Palm Beach club on Saturday and told a Secret Service agent at a security checkpoint that she wanted to use the pool, a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District for the Southern District of Florida on Monday stated.
JARED KUSHNER: MEDIA DISTRACTED WITH 'CRAZY CONSPIRACY THEORIES,' 'RUSSIA, RUSSIA, RUSSIA'
She showed the agent two Chinese passports and tried to determine whether she was on a membership list, according to the complaint. Secret Service reportedly said she was not on the list, but a club manager thought she was related to a member of Mar-a-Lago with the same surname. She didn't definitively say whether she was or not, and "due to a potential language barrier issue," Zhang was able to enter Mar-a-Lago, Agent Samuel Ivanovich wrote in court documents.
Once inside, Zhang allegedly rode on a valet golf cart, and eventually told a receptionist she was at the club for a United Nations Chinese American Association event to take place later that day — an event which the receptionist knew wasn't scheduled.
Zhang told the Secret Service she was there to attend a "United Nations Friendship Event" between China and the U.S., and said she was visiting Mar-a-Lago early to take photos of the property — seemingly contradicting her earlier statement that she was there to visit the pool. She reportedly showed Ivanovich an invitation in Chinese that he could not read.
The woman was removed from the property and "became verbally aggressive with agents" when she was interviewed, the documents alleged.
SARAH PALIN SAYS IT WAS A 'GUT PUNCH' TO BE EXCLUDED FROM MCCAIN FUNERAL
Ivanovich said it was clear Zhang could speak and read English well, and said she claimed to have traveled from Shanghai to Florida after someone named "Charles," whom she met on a Chinese social media app, told her to "attend this event and attempt to speak with a member of the President's family about Chinese and American foreign economic relations."
Zhang also denied she told agents she was at the beach club to swim in the pool.
The agent said Zhang carried four cellphones, a laptop computer, an external hard drive and a thumb drive containing computer malware. She did not have a swimsuit.
Zhang has been charged with making false statements to federal agents and illegally entering a restricted area. She remains in custody pending a hearing next week.
There is no indication Zhang was ever near the president, who was golfing at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach on Saturday.
There is also no indication that she is connected to Li Yang, a Chinese native, Republican donor and former Florida massage parlor owner. Yang recently made news after it was learned she allegedly promised Chinese business leaders, via her consulting firm, access to Mar-a-Lago where they could mingle with the president.
The Secret Service told Fox News on Tuesday that "this is an ongoing investigation." In a follow-up statement, the agency said it "does not determine who is invited or welcome at Mar-a-Lago; this is the responsibility of the host entity. The Mar-a-Lago club management determines which members and guests are granted access to the property."
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
"This access does not afford an individual proximity to the President or other Secret Service protectees," the statement continued. "With the exception of certain permanently protected facilities, such as the White House, the practice used at Mar-a-Lago is no different than that long-used at any other site temporarily visited by the President or other Secret Service protectees."
The agency said that once the club's staff determined Zhang was not authorized to be on the property, Secret Service agents "took immediate action resulting in the arrest of the individual."
Fox News' Heather Lacy, John Roberts and Ellison Barber and The Associated Press contributed to this report.