Hey – Remember when we found out that the sex-trafficker in South Florida was…also an agent of the Chinese gov't….. had also bought access to Trump regime through Mar-a-Lago…. was also a Communist Party official?
Yep. That was all this week.
— Jesse Ferguson (@JesseFFerguson) March 16, 2019
Time dilation here in Hellworld. The Miami Herald, Friday:
South Florida day spa entrepreneur Li “Cindy” Yang — now famous for her Super Bowl party selfie with the president — used her burgeoning political access to bring Xianqin Qu, a leader from the foreign arm of the Communist Party of China, to an event where she met top Republicans and members of the Trump administration, including Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Donald Trump.
Qu is the president of the Florida Chapter of the Council for the Promotion of Peaceful Unification — a group ”directly subordinate” to the Communist Party of China, according to a 2018 U.S. government report. The group’s stated purpose is to push for reunification of China and Taiwan, although in recent years members in chapters around the world actively promoted a wide range of policies in harmony with Beijing’s agenda abroad…
Yang arranged for a group of Chinese expats, including Qu, to attend a Republican fundraiser for Donald Trump at a restaurant in New York on Dec. 2, 2017. Online media organizations and the National Committee of Asian American Republicans social media posts about the event say Qu was there as a guest of the committee, also called the Asian GOP. Yang was the organizer of the Asian GOP contingent at the event, according to Cliff Li, the founder of the political committee where Yang volunteered as a primary fundraiser.
At the breakfast meet-and-greet, Qu was photographed with Conway and several Republican donors with deep pockets. A White House spokesperson said Conway does not know Qu.
A GOP spokeswoman said it appears the photo of Conway and Qu — given the dozens of people behind Conway — was not a preplanned photo op. The December 2017 event had about 500 people, the spokeswoman said. Background checks are not required for events that don’t involve high-level donors. Price of admission started at $1,000 for general access and was $2,700 for VIPs, according to the invitation.
In January 2018, Qu also attended Safari Night at Mar-a-Lago — a charity event co-sponsored by the Asian GOP and attended by Trump’s sister, Elizabeth Trump Grau. Photos show Qu among the Asian GOP attendees. Again, Yang had organized the group, according to Li…
Li Cindy Yang, former owner of Orchids of Asia day spa and frequent Mar-a-Lago guest, raises concern over President Trump's 'porous' club – The Washington Post https://t.co/EdHYR2XxjE
— Nancy Quinn (@nancyquinn) March 16, 2019
The Washington Post, yesterday:
… Scrutiny has also centered on a company Yang ran offering foreign visitors access to the president and other top Republican officials. According to an archived version of her company’s Chinese-language website, which became inactive after recent news reports, the company offered VIP access to the White House and Mar-a-Lago, and autographed photos of Trump.
At the same time, Yang identified herself on the website as holding a position with the Chinese Association for Science and Technology. Experts in Chinese influence say that it and another group to which Yang has been tied have links to China’s ruling Communist Party’s efforts to spread influence in the West, though they noted that her roles do not necessarily suggest that she acted on behalf of the Chinese government…
Yang has been a fixture at black-tie galas at Mar-a-Lago, at Trump’s golf course in Jupiter, Fla., and at other GOP events in the state since Trump took office in 2017, local GOP activists said. That year, federal records show, Yang made her first political donation: $37,000 to Trump Victory, the committee that raises money for the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee.
She is not a member of Mar-a-Lago but attended events there as a guest of a friend who is a longtime member, Merson told ABC News…
Yang identified herself on her company’s now-archived website as the vice president of the Miami chapter of the U.S. arm of the Chinese Association for Science and Technology. Xiao Ling, who runs the Florida chapter of the Chinese Association for Science and Technology, did not respond to a request for comment. A representative from the group’s main office in China declined to comment.
In an article in a Chinese-language technology outlet, Chinese Voice of America, Yang is also identified as deputy director of the Florida branch of the Council for the Promotion of the Peaceful Reunification of China.
The council, which has chapters around the world, advocates for Taiwan to be absorbed into China. The chapters are overseen by a wing of the Chinese Communist Party.
Both groups are a part of the Chinese Communist Party’s efforts to exert influence outside of China, according to several experts…
Cindy Yang really wanted the autographed picture with President Trump. But she needed to raise $50,000. She tapped high-dollar donations from a very unusual group: massage parlor workers. With ?@FrancesRobles @jotted ? https://t.co/RXqCWVWkFw via ?@nytimes?
— Mike Forsythe ??? (@PekingMike) March 16, 2019
And then, the NYTimes:
… The invitation limited campaign contributions to $5,400 per person, so Ms. Yang, a Chinese immigrant who had set up a string of day spas in Florida and was active in groups backed by the Chinese government and Communist Party, needed others to chip in.
Over the weeks leading up to the event, at least nine people in Ms. Yang’s orbit, some of them with modest incomes, made donations at exactly $5,400. She ended up at the dinner…
One of the $5,400 political donations came from a 25-year-old woman who gives facials at a beauty school, in a strip mall in nearby Palm Beach Gardens that is owned by Ms. Yang’s family. Another $5,400 came from a woman who says she worked as a receptionist at a massage parlor owned by Ms. Yang’s husband. A third gift of $5,400 came from an associate of Ms. Yang’s who had been charged in 2014 after a prostitution sting with practicing health care without a license, police records show.
The receptionist, Bingbing Peranio, listed as a “manager” on her disclosure, spoke with a reporter about her relationship with Ms. Yang. She described herself as a big fan of Mr. Trump’s and said Ms. Yang, a registered Republican, was seen as a leader among Asian-American Republicans in Florida.
Ms. Peranio said Ms. Yang had come to the spa where she worked at the time and helped fill out the check toward the president’s campaign. “I can’t say she was pushing me or not pushing me, but I worked there then,” she said, speaking at her home in Jupiter. “I was working there. I didn’t say no.”…
It is rare for workers in the massage and spa business to support candidates for office at such high-dollar levels, according to an analysis of Federal Election Commission records. In 2017 and 2018, of the nearly 65,000 donations made by people listed as massage therapists on F.E.C. disclosures, only two gave the maximum $5,400, including one of the Trump donors connected to Ms. Yang…
Ms. Yang discovered politics in 2015, and she quickly became a fund-raiser for Republican candidates and causes, embracing the lifestyle it demanded, too, according to Ms. Lu and two other acquaintances of Ms. Yang who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
She attended social events at firing ranges and extolled the virtues of the Second Amendment, according to photographs posted to her Chinese-language WeChat account. “The biggest advantage of learning to use a gun is to make yourself stronger and feel strong support,” she wrote on the social media site.
She stumped for a stream of politicians and posed for pictures with Republican personalities, including Sarah Palin. In 2015, she was photographed with a small group holding a banner at the launch of Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign. She also helped build a political organization and fund-raising committee, the National Association of Asian American Republicans.
The election of Mr. Trump brought new opportunities as the line between business and politics became especially blurred…
The perfect epitaph for America’s Second Gilded Age!