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Thu Apr 4, 2019, 08:47 AM

Ex-spies: why Mar-a-lago is vulnerable to foreign espionage


..."Foreign countries aren’t stupid,” former CIA analyst Cindy Otis tells Quartz. “They send officials to stay at Trump hotels for a reason. They know that he does not care about [operational security] and that he speaks openly and loudly about government issues wherever he goes, so foreign intelligence services are going to look for ways to monitor those conversations, either by gaining physical access for through electronic means.”

Trump appears almost as free with his words when at Mar-a-Lago as he is on Twitter.

In April 2017, he authorized a missile strike in Syria while in the Mar-a-Lago dining room with Chinese president Xi Jinping, enjoying what Trump later described as “the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake that you have ever seen.” He has also shown up at weddings there, unannounced.

During a February 2017 state visit by Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, Trump advisers huddled at a dinner table at Mar-a-Lago after a North Korean missile launch. Normally, such a sensitive meeting would be held in a highly secure location. This one was observed—and photographed—by a guest who also managed to get a selfie during his visit with a military aide appearing to carry nuclear-launch codes.

White House spokesman Judd Deere referred Quartz to the Secret Service, which provided a statement that said the agency “does not determine who is invited or welcome at Mar-a-Lago; this is the responsibility of the host entity. The Mar-a-Lago club management determines which members and guests are granted access to the property.”

Secret Service agents are at Mar-a-Lago to ensure physical security, not to run background checks on members, guests or workers for counterintelligence purposes. They are screened for weapons, but do not undergo the same rigorous vetting as visitors to the White House, where agents run every visitor’s full name, date and place of birth, Social Security number, city of residence, and more.

Relatively unfettered access to Mar-a-Lago is available to anyone that can pay the $200,000 membership fee, and the club hires dozens of foreign workers each year. The White House has refused to release a comprehensive list of the Mar-a-Lago visitor logs.

“Whose responsibility is it to prevent foreign intelligence? That’s a very good question that remains unanswered,” one former Secret Service agent told Politico last year. “Is it the FBI? They’re not involved in protection. It’s not the CIA because they can’t spy on US citizens.”

Lists of club members have leaked, and the names and contact information of important Mar-a-Lago employees with access to the president—making them prime espionage or blackmail targets—are available on the resort’s website."....(more at link)

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Reply Ex-spies: why Mar-a-lago is vulnerable to foreign espionage (Original post)
Tanuki Apr 4 OP
Farmer-Rick Apr 4 #1

Response to Tanuki (Original post)

Thu Apr 4, 2019, 09:04 AM

1. Nice of Trump to put his neck out like that for the lax security.

If his criminal pals can get in, those with more violent intent can also get in. But Trump's not worried.

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