How a woman with Chinese passports allegedly deceived her way into Mar-a-Lago

Woman allegedly talked her way into Mar-a-Lago

Washington — Democrats in the Senate are asking the FBI to look into security at Mar-a-Lago. They want to prevent possible breaches of the president's resort by foreign agents, after the Secret Service arrested a woman from China who allegedly talked her way in -- for reasons still unknown.

Yujing Zhang, a Chinese national in her early 30s, has been in the Palm Beach County jail since she was arrested five days ago for illegally gaining access to Mar-a-Lago.

According to court papers, here's how she did it:

  • She entered a parking lot across the street from the resort, where the secret service screens visitors. She said was going to the pool. 
  • Club officials incorrectly assumed she was related to a member with the same last name and allowed her to be taken by golf cart to the main reception area.
  • After going through a second checkpoint, she told the receptionist she was there for a "United Nations Friendship Event" even though no such event was on the schedule. 

The receptionist then notified secret service that Zhang was "not authorized to be on the property." She was taken off property for questioning and was later arrested. 

She possessed four cellphones, a computer and a thumb drive containing "malicious malware," which can be used to tamper with computers.

In a statement, the Secret Service said it "does not determine who is invited or welcome at Mar-a-Lago. Club management determines which members and guests are granted access to the property."

CBS News security contributor Fran Townsend said the Secret Service has a difficult job protecting a property that it doesn't fully control.  

"They do the best they can, but this instance was sort of a perfect storm where she lied her way past multiple checkpoints," Townsend said.

Woman's arrest at Mar-a-Lago sparks security concerns
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    Chip Reid

    Chip Reid is CBS News' national correspondent.