Chinese Woman Carrying ‘Malware’ Charged With Trying To Access Trump’s Mar-a-Lago – NPR

A view of Mar-a-Lago on Friday, March 22, 2019, in Palm Beach, Fla. An unauthorized woman has been charged with attempting to gain access to the president’s private golf club.

Carolyn Kaster/AP


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Carolyn Kaster/AP

A view of Mar-a-Lago on Friday, March 22, 2019, in Palm Beach, Fla. An unauthorized woman has been charged with attempting to gain access to the president’s private golf club.

Carolyn Kaster/AP

A woman carrying two Republic of China passports has been charged after allegedly lying to Secret Service agents to gain access to President Trump’s private Mar-a-Lago club while he was there last weekend.

The woman, Yujing Zhang, has been charged with making false statements and illegally entering a restricted area.

Information about her case appeared in a criminal complaint that became public on Tuesday.

Many details about her weren’t immediately clear — for example, whether she is from Taiwan or from mainland China; she told investigators she had come to Florida from Shanghai.

Zhang briefly entered Mar-a-Lago after telling a Secret Service agent guarding the property that she was there to visit the pool, according to the criminal complaint.

Once inside the club, Zhang told a different Secret Service agent that she was there to attend a “United Nations Chinese American Association” event later in the evening. No such event was scheduled and the club’s managers said she was not on any list authorizing her to be there.

Zhang was detained, and later told agents that a “Chinese friend” had told her to travel to Mar-a-Lago and speak with a member of Trump’s family about U.S.-Chinese economic relations.

Zhang was carrying the two passports, four cellphones, one laptop computer, an external hard drive and a thumb drive that contained “malicious malware,” the criminal complaint said.

Zhang, authorities said, did not have a swimsuit in her possession.

Officials at the Justice Department’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., had no comment about the case. A federal public defender representing Zhang declined to comment to the Miami Herald.

NPR National Justice Correspondent Carrie Johnson contributed to this report.

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