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Mar-a-Lago's a weird place. Turn over a rock on that golf course, you never know what's going to crawl out. And inside the dining room, it's worse! We've already met swamp creature Cindy Yang, the owner of a chain of massage parlors cum brothels, who was recently caught selling access to the president and his family at their South Florida Golf 'n' Grift Emporium. For the low-low price of UNDISCLOSED, Chinese nationals can rub shoulders with the Trump family and talk up their businesses, without even having to hire a lobbyist. Cheap at twice the price!

Photo Captured by Mother Jones

But what if, while they're here for a little sun and suck up, those Chinese investors decide to drop a little extra cash to make the relationship permanent? Never fear! As Talking Points Memo was first to report, Mrs. Yang is a one-stop shop:



TPM found that Yang, through a Florida-based company called GY US Investments LLC, was also using proximity to Trump and his properties to peddle so-called investor visas. Under the EB-5 visa program, foreign citizens can get a conditional two-year U.S. green card in exchange for making certain investments. Mother Jones first reported the existence of GY US Investments.

Along with extensive offers of access to Trump and American politicians including Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Yang's company also claimed to provide "immigration investment projects," according to a translation of cached versions of the company's website. Those services included independent investments and those done via "immigration investment project centers," according to the now shuttered website.

Jared Kushner's family also got caught trying to flog its condos in New Jersey to Chinese nationals looking to invest in a "golden visa" through the EB-5 program by touting their connection to President Trump. Having failed to marry into American royalty, Yang had to content herself with posting photos of palatial estates in South Florida and noting their proximity to "Trump Manor." TPM notes there is an eight-year waitlist on these visas, but you can't blame a girl for trying, can you?

South Florida home of Jeffrey Lurie, owner of the Philadelphia EaglesScreengrab by TPM from site of Yang's company GY US Investments, LLC

But who is she trying for? Is Mrs. Yang just a shameless grifter, or is she reporting to the Chinese government from the president's private club, where he gives all guests a front row seat to international negotiations by conducting them on the lanai during dinner? Foreign Policy reports that Cindy Yang is a member of several civic groups used to promote Chinese Communist Party policies abroad:


In 2016, Yang served as a vice president of the newly founded Florida chapter of the China Council for the Promotion of Peaceful National Reunification, a Beijing-based organization under the direct oversight of the United Front Work Department. The nominal purpose of the organization is to ensure the so-called reunification of Taiwan and China; in practice, chapters often function as a political action group receiving broad direction from the mainland. Branches exist in more than 70 countries around the world and in more than 30 U.S. cities. (When asked, individual chapters typically claim to be independent, despite being listed on the website of the Beijing-based council.) Yang has been active in numerous other organizations that the United Front has sought to co-opt, including hometown groups such as the Northeast Florida Hometown Association, of which Yang is a member.

Lists of branch officers often read like a who's who of prominent local members of the Chinese community. That's not a coincidence. The Chinese Communist Party often uses peaceful reunification societies as foreign outposts to identify, assess, and reward influential members of the Chinese diaspora who are willing to promote party objectives within their communities.


The Trump administration has a cogent response to this, however. And it is to shout TRUMP DON'T KNOW HER! over and over until reporters give up and go home. Mother Jones reports:


"The President doesn't know this woman," Judd Deere, a White House spokesman, told Mother Jones on Tuesday.

I DID NOT HAVE INFLUENCE PEDDLING RELATIONS WITH THAT WOMAN, MRS. YANG.


Yang has posed for multiple pictures with Trump and reportedly visited the White House last year in connection with an event organized by the Asian American and Pacific Islander Initiative, a White House advisory group. Deere, however, said Yang has never been a member of that group.

He declined to comment on whether Yang's access to Trump represents a national security risk, referring questions to the Secret Service. He also declined to say if Trump is concerned that Yang was selling access to him at Mar-a-Lago, one of the properties that Trump continues to own and profit from while president.

Ah, well in that case ... nothing to see here. This is all fine, so we'd best be moving right along. Because if the president says it, you know it must be the God's honest truth.

[TPM / Foreign Policy / MoJo]

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