White House: Trump “Doesn’t Know” the Massage Parlor Owner Peddling Access to Him

The administration breaks its silence on Cindy Yang.

After four days of silence, the White House has finally addressed questions about Cindy Yang, the massage parlor owner who sold Chinese business executives access to President Donald Trump and his family at Mar-a-Lago. 

“The President doesn’t know this woman,” Judd Deere, a White House spokesman, told Mother Jones on Tuesday.

The Miami Herald reported Friday that Yang, the former owner of a Jupiter, Florida, massage parlor where New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft allegedly solicited prostitution, had snapped a selfie with Trump at a Super Bowl party at Mar-a-Lago last month. 

Though her family still owns other massage parlors, Yang in 2017 launched a new business, GY US Investments LLC, that offered to help clients gain access to Trump and members of his administration. On its website, disabled on Friday, the firm boasted it could arrange photos with the president along with opportunities to “interact with the president, the Minister of Commerce and other political figures,” and that it could set up a “White House and Capitol Hill Dinner.” 

Yang’s apparent ability to access Trump and other top Republican figures highlights a national security risk that could be exploited by foreign intelligence agencies, experts say. Yang is a member of the Florida branch of the Council for the Promotion of the Peaceful Reunification of China (CPPRC) and the Miami chapter of the American arm of the Chinese Association of Science and Technology. Both groups have direct links to China’s Communist Party. Analysts of Chinese foreign policy describe the CPPRC as an instrument to project Chinese influence around the world.

Yang has posed for multiple pictures with Trump and reportedly visited the White House last year in connection with an event organized by the Asian American and Pacific Islander Initiative, a White House advisory group. Deere, however, said Yang has never been a member of that group.

He declined to comment on whether Yang’s access to Trump represents a national security risk, referring questions to the Secret Service. He also declined to say if Trump is concerned that Yang was selling access to him at Mar-a-Lago, one of the properties that Trump continues to own and profit from while president.

MORE HARD-HITTING JOURNALISM

In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones, a special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.