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President Trump responding to arrest of Chinese woman at Mar-a-Lago

President Trump
Posted at 7:25 AM, Apr 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-04 07:32:35-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- President Donald Trump is speaking out for the first time about a security breach at Mar-a-Lago.

He's calling the incident a "fluke" after Secret Service took a woman from China into custody at his resort on Saturday. It's a story that was first reported by WPTV earlier this week.

According to the arrest report, Yujing Zhang told Secret Service agents she was hoping to attend an event Saturday night and speak with a member of the president’s family about Chinese-American economic relations. Agents report she was carrying a thumb drive containing malicious malware.

On Wednesday, President Trump responded to the WPTV story, commending the Mar-a-Lago staff and the U.S. Secret Service on their handling of the situation.

"Secret Service is fantastic. These are fantastic people. The end result is, it was good. I think, probably, we will see what happens, where she is from, who she is," President Trump told reporters. "But the result is that they were able to get her. She's now suffering the consequences of whatever it is she had in mind. But, I would say, I could not be happier with Secret Service. Secret Service has done a fantastic job since day one. Very happy with them."

Court documents state that Zhang was able to clear the first Mar-a-Lago security checkpoint and said she was there to visit the pool.

In a statement, the Secret Service said they caught up with her when she got off a golf cart that was transporting her to the second checkpoint.

"Individuals are prohibited from disembarking the shuttle between screenings and the route is monitored by Secret Service personnel," the Secret Service statement reads.

The statement goes on to say, "After undergoing screening at the second Secret Service checkpoint the individual, per club protocol, was immediately met by club reception. The Mar-a-Lago reception staff then determined that the individual should not have been authorized access by their staff and Secret Service agents took immediate action resulting in the arrest of the individual."

According to the arrest report, Zhang told Secret Service agents she was hoping to attend an event Saturday night and speak with a member of the President’s family about Chinese-American economic relations.

That same day Zhang was arrested, a fundraiser for the Young Adventurers charity had been planned at the club but was canceled weeks earlier. Click here to learn more about the case.

Trump told reporters he's not losing any sleep over the incident and addressed rumors of spies from China.

"No, I'm not concerned at all," he said. "I think it was just a fluke situation and I think that the person setting at the front desk did a very good job, to be honest with you. I think that particular woman did a very, very good job. She was able to see things that other people were not. But, no, I think it's just a fluke."

Zhang is still in custody as of Thursday morning and is due in court for a hearing next week.

According to the AP, Chinese diplomats have been informed of the arrest and are now reportedly providing her with consular services, the Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

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