USB Stick of Malware Incites Security Concerns at Mar-a-Lago 💾

J. David Ake / AP / REX / Shutterstock

J. David Ake / AP / REX / Shutterstock

Breaking, entering, and lying

A woman briefly broke into President Trump’s private Mar-a-Lago club while he was there last weekend. Though the president and his family were not present at time, the Secret Service detained the woman, Yujing Zhang, when it became clear that she had a fabricated reason for her presence in the club. She was charged on Monday with making false statements to federal agents and trespassing.

Security breach?

Zhang was carrying two Chinese passports and a bag of electronics, including a USB that held “malicious malware.” These items, and the fact that she was able to enter the club so easily, have prompted a debate over the fortitude of Trump’s security protocols.


Washington Examiner: Woman arrested at Mar-a-Lago with Chinese passports, malware-infected thumb drive

Fox News: Woman arrested at Mar-a-Lago Club with 2 Chinese passports, malware, feds say

The right views the incident as an isolated event. Rather than referencing the past incidents that the left connects, they report the known facts of Zhang’s entry. These articles emphasize the Secret Service’s statements that the Mar-a-Lago management team was primarily responsible for determining who gains access to the property, and that the agency “took immediate action” once the issue became apparent.


Splinter: Sure seems like Mar-a-Lago might be a huge security risk

Slate: Mar-a-Lago is a spy’s dream come true

The left views this incident as exemplary of Trump’s lax approach to security, both specifically related to his frequent use of Mar-a-Lago as a diplomatic gathering place, and broadly to his attitude toward national security. These articles gesture to last month’s White House whistleblower and other intelligence slips as evidence of negligence. They emphasize the difficulties of ensuring physical- and cyber-security for the golf course, which is operated jointly by the Mar-a-Lago club management team and the Secret Service when Trump visits.

Where's the common ground?

The left has picked up this story much more than the right. Articles on both sides remark on the bizarre details of Zhang’s attempted entry, however, finding it odd that her collection items didn’t raise alarm sooner. Because Zhang’s motives are still unknown, most refrain from speculating too specifically about changes to Trump’s security protocols in response.

Zhang could have used some pointers from this cute lil guy



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