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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Foreign Influence Operations

Li Yang, the Florida massage parlor entrepreneur who created and operated a business that sold Chinese business executives access to President Donald Trump and his family at Mar-a-Lago, has yet another intriguing line of work. She is an officer of two groups with ties to China’s Communist government. And she founded a Miami-based nonprofit that promotes “economic and cultural exchange” between China and the West in coordination with “senior…Chinese leaders” in the United States, according to a profile of Yang posted on a Chinese social media platform.
Donald Trump’s inauguration received tens of thousands of dollars from shell companies that masked the involvement of a foreign contributor or others with foreign ties.
The Guardian has identified the creators of three obscure firms that contributed money to Trump’s inaugural committee, which collected a record $107m as he entered the White House in 2017.
The three companies each gave $25,000 to Trump’s inaugural fund. At least one of the contributions was made for a foreign national who appears ineligible to make political donations in the US.
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One of the $25,000 donations to Trump’s inauguration was made through a Delaware shell company for a wealthy Indian financier based in London, who appears to not hold US citizenship or residency.
Another was made by a company formed in Georgia by a lobbyist with connections to the Taiwanese government. His wife said the firm was funded by Chinese investors. One of their daughters was later given an internship in Trump’s White House, which they said was unrelated to the donation.

A third $25,000 contribution was made through a company formed anonymously in New York by an Israeli real estate developer who has helped other foreign developers with legal issues in the US. The Israeli developer said he held US residency, commonly known as a “green card”, which permitted him to contribute legally.