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Chinese national arrested for allegedly illegally entering Mar-a-Lago

Chinese woman arrested at Mar-a-Lago
Chinese woman arrested for trespassing at Mar-a-Lago 02:04

Fort Laudrerdale, Florida — A Chinese national trespassed at President Trump's Mar-a-Lago club Wednesday and was arrested when she refused to leave, police said. It's the second time this year a woman from that country has been charged related to illicitly entering the Florida resort.

Jing Lu, 56, was confronted by the private club's security officers and told to leave, but she returned and was found taking photos, Palm Beach police said. Officers were called and arrested her. It was determined she had an expired visa, police added.

Lu was charged with loitering and prowling and was being held late Wednesday at the Palm Beach County jail. She exercised her right to an attorney. The White House referred CBS News to the Trump Organization, which did not respond to a request for comment. 

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in Beijing Thursday that China asks its citizens who are overseas to abide by local laws and refrain from illegal activities, the Reuters news agency reports.

The president and his family weren't at the club - he held a rally in Michigan on Wednesday as the House of Representatives voted to impeach him. The Trumps are expected to arrive at Mar-a-Lago by the weekend and spend the holidays there.

Lu's arrest is reminiscent of the March arrest of Yujing Zhang, a 33-year-old Shanghai businesswoman, who gained access to Mar-a-Lago while carrying a laptop, phones and other electronic gear. That led to initial speculation that she might be a spy, but she was never charged with espionage and text messages she exchanged with a trip organizer indicated she was a fan of the president and wanted to meet him or his family to discuss possible deals.

Zhang was found guilty in September of trespassing and lying to Secret Service agents and was sentenced last month to time served. She is being held for deportation.

In another Mar-a-Lago trespassing case, a University of Wisconsin student was arrested in November 2018 after he mixed in with guests being admitted to the club. He pleaded guilty in May and received probation.

In both those cases, Mr. Trump and his family were staying at the resort, but weren't threatened.

With the Atlantic Ocean to the east and Florida's Intracoastal Waterway to the west, Mar-a-Lago sits on the Palm Beach barrier island, a 128-room, 62,500-square-foot symbol of opulence and power. The Trump family business doubled the initiation fee to $200,000 he was elected president was elected in 2016. He spends many weekends between November and April there, mingling with the club's 500 members, who pay $14,000 in annual dues to belong.

Mr. Trump purchased Mar-a-Lago from the foundation of the late socialite and cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post in 1985. He and first lady Melania Trump held their 2005 wedding reception inside the 20,000-square-foot ballroom shortly after its completion.

Federal agencies spent about $3.4 million per Trump visit, much of it on security, according to an analysis of four 2017 trips by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. The Secret Service doesn't decide who is invited or welcome at the resort; that responsibility belongs to the club. Agents do screen guests outside the perimeter before they're screened again inside.

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