For the past several days we’ve been waiting to see whether Cindy Yang was going to end up being merely yet another footnote in the story of Donald Trump’s endless corruption and consistent connections to scumbags, or if it was going to end reaching critical mass and taking on a life of its own. As of today it’s finally safe to say that it’s the latter.
We already know that Yang founded the chain of massage parlors that was later busted for being a front for sex trafficking. We also know that Yang hung out at Mar-a-Lago and took selfies with Donald Trump and his allies. And we know that Yang was selling Chinese executives access to Trump. Today we learned that Yang was also allegedly selling Trump-connected visas to immigrants. But none of that is why the scandal has reached critical mass.
Today the White House issued a formal statement about the matter. It was predictably short and pointless: “The President doesn’t know this woman.” But the fact that the White House felt compelled to make a formal statement is a clear sign that Donald Trump’s handlers don’t expect this story to go away. Merely commenting on a scandal like this – even if you’re denying it – merely adds heft and exposure to the whole thing. You don’t do it unless you think it’s going to blow up anyway.
So now we have a clear signal that Donald Trump, or at least his handlers, think the Cindy Yang scandal is going to blow up big time. Even more telling, even as his handlers try to publicly address the matter in the feeble hope of getting out ahead of it, Trump himself has been afraid to tweet a word about Yang. This is going to get bigger and uglier, and probably soon.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report