It’s been long established that Donald Trump’s Florida property Mar-a-Lago is a national security nightmare for the United States. We’ve seen images of Trump studying classified intel while dining with the club’s patrons. We’ve seen reports of a woman selling Chinese executives access to Trump at the club. Now it turns out a woman was arrested at Mar-a-Lago this weekend, and the whole thing sounds like something out of a spy novel – a comically bad spy novel.
This weekend a woman named Yujing Zhang tried to sneak into Mar-a-Lago with a ton of computer equipment on hand, some of it carrying malware, according to the Washington Post. But the story unfolds in absolutely absurd fashion. She tried to get in by claiming she was attending an event that didn’t exist. Then she presented an “invitation” that was written entirely in Chinese. Then she claimed she was going to the pool, despite not having any swimwear, and at one point she made up a story about someone named Charles.
Wait a minute here. This woman is clearly some kind of operative, but apparently not a good one. It doesn’t seem plausible that the Chinese government would have taken the trouble to send someone to sneak into Mar-a-Lago, while leaving them this inexplicably untrained and unprepared. On the other hand, it doesn’t seem plausible that this was merely a disturbed woman carrying out a delusion, considering that she was armed with the kind of “malicious malware” that one would expect to be used in a cyber-intelligence operation.
So what’s this woman’s real story? We have no idea. That’ll come out later. The upshot for now is that, thanks to Donald Trump’s insistence upon being a part time resident at a club like Mar-a-Lago, either a big league cyber-intelligence outfit thought it could target the club with the simplest of schemes, or a small time cyber-intelligence outfit managed to get as far as it did. Either way, Trump is making America less secure by the day.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report