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Trump: & # 39; Undecided & # 39; to potential Chinese spy on Mar-a-Lago



"No, I'm not worried," Trump said when asked about potential Chinese spy in his Florida club.

Trump describes an alleged infringement of his club by a Chinese passport woman and a flashdrive containing malware as a "calm situation."

"I think this is just a scenario and I think the person sitting in front of the desk is a great job," Trump says, saying that he was given an indication of the incident. He added that the receptionist "sees things that people are not different, but I do not think it's just a scorn."

Trump's comments have started the FBI investigating recent Mar-a-Lago security violations for the possibility of surveillance, the US official told CNN. The investigation came at the same time that a leading House Democrat asked for a security briefing at Trump's Florida retreat.

The official said the FBI is doing what to do in these circumstances, when there is a foreign national involved and has the possibility of mental or cyber security issues.

The investigation is being directed by the US Secret Service.

Trump praised the work of the Secret Service, claiming that he was "not happier" in their handling of the incident.

Federal prosecutors have unveiled charges against Yujing Zhang, a woman accused of entering the Mar-an-Lago club in Florida illegally in late March. The Department of Justice said that Zhang had brought two Chinese passports, and the prosecutors charged him by making false statements to a federal official and entering into a restricted property.

According to a criminal complaint after Zhang was detained, the Secret agents saw that he had multiple electronic devices and an initial investigation found by malware on a thumb drive.

Zhang appeared in a federal court in Florida on Monday for the first appearance. At a hearing before Magistrate Judge William Matthewman in West Palm Beach, Zhang read charges against him and said he could face up to six years in prison if convicted, according to the hearing audio obtained by CNN.

A Mandarin provided the judge's message to Zhang. At the start of the hearing, after Matthewman made some English statements translated for Zhang, he asked him if he wanted to continue using the translator or if he should continue in English.

"Yes, please translate," Zhang said. "Thank you, so it is more understandable to understand Chinese than English."

In an affidavit filed by federal prosecutors at this court this week, a Secret Service agent made many English language capabilities Zhang.

Mar-a-Lago's first guest gave Zhang access to the property on Saturday, in part, "due to a potential language barrier," the Secret Service agent wrote.

At the next interview with authorities outside Mar-a-Si Lago there is "free and hard-to-speak … in English," the agent wrote.

A federal prosecutor called Zhang "an extreme flight risk" and said he was unrelated to the US or Palm Beach according to the audio of his court hearing on Monday, acquired by CNN.

"He has nothing to do with the United States in general or in the Southern District of Florida especially," said the prosecutor in the first form of Zhang on Monday. [1

9659002] Earlier at the hearing, Zhang told a federal judge that his hat was in the US with his family in just a short period of time.

"Me and my family have not been in the United States for a long time so we are not familiar with the laws and which lawyers are good," he said through an interpreter.

Trump said he was waiting for more information about the incident.

"We'll see what happened, where he (Zhang) was from, who he was, but the result they got him and now he's suffering from the consequences of what he thought," he said.

Security concerns and congressional studies

The alleged violation has brought a lot of security concerns about the Florida President's club, which reviewed for not having tight security protocols in the actual White House or the retreats that are often used by previous presidents.

In a letter on Wednesday, the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff requested a briefing on the arrest of Zhang from FBI's heads, Secret Service and Office of the Director of the National Intelligence.

Among other things, the California Democrat asked to check the status of the investigation and if China attempted to conduct "operation of influence" at the club. The Schiff inquired what steps the Trump Organization took to avoid "collecting intelligence at the club" and how the "goals of increasing private club revenues" were in conflict with the imperatives of protecting state secrets.

The letter followed a former request from the Schiff and other leading Democrats requesting a new FBI investigation into the visible relationship with a Trump woman, focusing on whether Cindy Yang was illegally seeking to use his relationship with the President by selling access to Chinese clients.

Zhang told a federal judge on Monday that he worked as an investor and consultant for a Chinese company he identified as Shanghai Zhirong Asset Management Corporation. He said he did not get any money in 2019, and he was paid only by the company "on each project."

"I'm the investor myself and I'm also a consultant for a company," Zhang said through the interpreter, according to an audio recording of the hearing that was received by CNN.

Zhang's visit to the US that leads to his weekend arrest is not isolated – he said on Monday he has a Wells Fargo bank account set up in the US because he looks at business options here, and used the money here at cover costs to clients and friends in previous trips. "I opened the account because I was looking for a business partner here in the US but because there were some changes to the policy, so things changed, there was not much money there," she says. "I always make sure that the account has enough money for me, for my expenses here, for example if I need to go out to clients or friends for dinner, and I also need to have enough money for my living expenses. " [19659002] Zhang also said he had another bank account in China, and he had a BMW and a house.

Zhang's overall perspective of finance came when the judge asked the ability to pay for a lawyer, compared to receiving a court representative. Matthewman rejected a federal defender on Monday, but has been given the right to pay him for the service at a later date.

In a discussion about if Zhang should receive a court-appointed lawyer, Matthewman called "very intelligent". Prior to the hearing, Matthewman allowed Zhang three days to provide his family and embassy on obtaining an attorney, before considering his appointment.

"For the next three days, since I'm going to the detention center, I'm wondering how I can find a lawyer because I can not get access to the phone and I can not get in touch with my family or a lawyer, "Zhang said, through an interpreter.

"Ms. Zhang, you are clearly very intelligent because your questions are good from a defendant in this situation," the judge replied.

Robert Adler, the federal public defender assigned to Zhang, told another session of his first appearance on Monday that he had had a "wonderful conversation" with him, and "received some information from him hopefully will lead to a productive conversation with family interviews in China. "

at the hearing that he was in the US for his family for a little while, he later said "my family is in China." He added that "I have a friend here" in the US, but he does not know his contact information and does not name him.

A federal prosecutor also said Monday that the Chinese consulate realized Zhang's arrest on the same day that it happened.

"His consulate has contacted the night of his arrest so the People's Republic of China is well aware of the fact that he was arrested," said Assistant US Attorney John C. McMillan.

The Chinese Embassy in DC did not respond to CNN's request for comment.

CNN's Manu Raju, Erica Orden, Jeremy Diamond and Jim Acosta contributed to this report.


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