On Saturday, a Chinese woman carrying malware was arrested after trying to gain access to Mar-a-Lago. Yujing Zhang was charged with two federal crimes: making false statements to a federal officer and entering restricted property.
On Monday, it was announced that U.S. Secret Service Director Randolph D. “Tex” Alles will be leaving his position, which is the latest in a string of departures from the Trump administration. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was also forced to resign on the same day.
Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) also released a statement on Monday calling for Alles to testify before Congress concerning Mar-a-Lago and any security issues the president’s club poses, as well as other matters.
‘THE OUTGOING SECRET SERVICE DIRECTOR RANDOLPH “TEX” ALLES MUST TESTIFY BEFORE CONGRESS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE ABOUT THE POTENTIAL SECURITY VULNERABILITIES AT MAR-A-LAGO INVOLVING A CHINESE NATIONAL ARRESTED WITH MALWARE, AND OTHER COUNTERINTELLIGENCE AND NATIONAL SECURITY THREATS.’
According to The Miami Herald:
‘ZHANG ORIGINALLY TOLD A U.S. SECRET SERVICE AGENT THAT SHE WANTED TO USE MAR-A-LAGO’S POOL, BUT UPON FURTHER QUESTIONING SAID SHE HAD TRAVELED FROM SHANGHAI TO ATTEND A “UNITED NATIONS FRIENDSHIP EVENT” BETWEEN CHINA AND THE UNITED STATES. SHE SAID SHE PLANNED TO SPEAK WITH A MEMBER OF THE PRESIDENT’S FAMILY ABOUT U.S.-CHINESE ECONOMIC RELATIONS.’
Alles sent a message on Monday to the Secret Service workforce saying that he had not been fired by Trump. Alles said:
‘THE PRESIDENT HAS DIRECTED AN ORDERLY TRANSITION IN LEADERSHIP FOR THIS AGENCY AND I INTEND TO ABIDE BY THAT DIRECTION. IT IS MY SINCERE REGRET THAT I WAS NOT ABLE TO ADDRESS THE WORKFORCE PRIOR TO THIS ANNOUNCEMENT.’
One DHS official said:
‘SECRET SERVICE EMPLOYEES ARE SHOCKED, BEWILDERED, IT’S JUST VERY UNEXPECTED. THERE HAS BEEN NO CONTENTIOUSNESS, EVERYTHING HAS BEEN FINE, BUT THE DIRECTOR AND THE PRESIDENT HAD NO PAST CONNECTION, AND THEY WANTED CHANGES THROUGHOUT DHS.’
According to Rich Staropoli, a former Secret Service agent and former senior Homeland Security official under Trump, the president appears to be booting several key people who got their jobs at the urging of former White House chief of staff John F. Kelly.
‘HE WAS PUSHED BY JOHN KELLY. THE PRESIDENT LIKES GENERALS. BUT NOW IT LOOKS LIKE HE’S CLEANING HOUSE.’
Staropoli went on to talk about the number of changes in directors:
‘THE SECRET SERVICE IS A CULTURE THAT DOESN’T HANDLE CHANGE TOO WELL. TO KEEP CHANGING DIRECTORS — THIS GUY’S ONLY BEEN THERE TWO YEARS — ISN’T A GOOD WAY FOR THE SECRET SERVICE TO OPERATE.’
Jonathan Wackrow, a former member of President Barack Obama’s detail said:
‘THIS FEELS LIKE GETTING RID OF ALL OF THE FRIENDS OF KELLY.’
According to The Post:
‘WACKROW SAID ALLES WAS HERALDED AS THE FIRST “OUTSIDER” WHO WOULD HAVE A BETTER SHOT AT ADDRESSING MAJOR SECURITY AND MISCONDUCT PROBLEMS THAT HAD PLAGUED THE SERVICE DURING THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION AND THE EARLY PART OF TRUMP’S TENURE.
‘BUT HE HASN’T BEEN ABLE TO FIX SOME OF THE SERVICE’S LONG-STANDING PROBLEMS, WACKROW SAID, INCLUDING DIFFICULTY IN HIRING AND RETAINING OFFICERS WHO HELP PATROL THE WHITE HOUSE.’
‘HE GOT IMMEDIATELY TAINTED BY THE INSIDE. HE HAD TO GET HIS INSTITUTIONAL KNOWLEDGE FROM THE PEOPLE WHO CAUSED THE PROBLEMS OVER THE YEARS.’
Here’s what Twitter had to say:
Featured image is a screenshot from YouTube