MARCH 9, 2019
Donald Trump (Photo: Mark Wilson, Getty Images)
Cindy (Li) Yang, a Florida entrepreneur who founded a chain of spas and massage parlors that included the one where New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was arrested recently for allegedly soliciting prostitution, also runs a consulting business that has offered to sell Chinese clients access to President Donald Trump and his family at Mar-a-Lago, according to the company’s website.
Mother Jones, which broke the story on Saturday, says Yang could not be reached for comment. The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Yang, a donor to the Republican Party and Trump campaign, popped up this week in photos showing her at a Super Bowl viewing party at the Trump-owned Mar-a-Lago that included a selfie with the president, the Miami Herald reported.
According to Mother Jones, Yang’s company — GY US Investments LLC — has a website, mostly in Chinese, that shows her and purported clients hobnobbing at the presidential retreat.
While Mother Jones’ examination on the website includes critical detail about a New Year’s Eve gala at Mar-a-Lago, a cached version of the website using the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine from August 2018, examined by USA TODAY, also confirms the key points of the magazine’s story.
It details Yang’s vast network within the Trump administration and Republican Party — including photos with the president, his family, members of Congress and key White House aides — and offers businesses and individuals a window into that network.
The company, founded in 2017 by Yang and her husband, Zubin Gong, describes itself as a consulting firm that helps businesses in America “expand their brand image in the modern Chinese marketplace.”
Mother Jones says the website stopped functioning the same day the Herald story was published about Yang and her connection to the spas.
The website, mostly in Chinese, lists events where Yang and others at the company mingled with the president and members of his cabinet, such as Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. It also lists photos with the president’s family, including sons Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., top White House aide Kellyanne Conway, former Trump aide Sebastian Gorka and Fox News host Jesse Watters.
It boasts about opportunities for businesses and individuals where they can “have the opportunity to interact with the president” and other “political figures.” It lists various dinners and charity events and a fluid calendar of events, most including Trump. One also listed Republican Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.
According to Mother Jones, the company boasts it has “arranged taking photos with the President” and suggests it can set up a “White House and Capitol Hill Dinner.”
The company listed one event in Ohio on May 4 where it advertises the opportunity to meet Trump and take a “one-on-one photo” and get an autograph. During the event, Trump talked up the new Republican tax law and discussed relations with North Korea.
The company included an array of photos showing Yang attending a number of high profile events, several of which were held at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, and one held at the White House.
During a May 2018 dinner for a “Lincoln Remembrance Day” event at Mar-a-Lago, the company boasted that “every member of the Florida political community” was “eager to participate” in the event since it was held at the “winter White House.”
The company lists photos of Yang with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and several of attendees with the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr.
The webpage also lists photos from a December 2017 fundraising event in New York City where Trump made remarks about trade with China and a recent trip he took to the country.
The company wrote there was nearly 100 Chinese attendees at the event, “which marked the rise of Chinese political participation in politics.” The page includes photos of attendees with Trump and Conway, who is dubbed “the hero of Trump’s presidency” on the website.
Yang is described on the page as a “member of the presidential fundraising committee” and was listed as “one of the only guests in South Florida who was invited to the White House to celebrate” the Chinese New Year in 2018.
Several photos of from the event show Yang and others wearing what appears to be a White-House issued pass, which are given by security in order to gain access to the grounds.
The website says Yang has been “settled in the United States for more than 20 years” and is a member of the “Presidential Fundraising Committee.” According to the Herald, Yang is a registered Republican, and since 2017 she and her relatives have donated more than $42,000 to a Trump political action committee and more than $16,000 to Trump’s campaign.
Yang, according to the Miami Herald, says she is no longer in the spa business and in 2013 sold Orchids of Asia Day Spa, the massage parlor where authorities say Kraft was caught on camera paying for sex on the morning of the Jan. 20 AFC Championship game. Kraft, who has denied the charge, is a close friend of Trump’s and frequent visitor to Mar-a-Lago.
Yang was not charged in the anti-human-trafficking operation last month that shut down 10 Asian day spas in Florida, none of which are registered to her or her family.
Courtesy/Source: USA Today