Secret Service lets teenager sneak into Mar-a-Lago while Trump is in town

1927

A teenager is latest to highlight the massive risk to American security created by Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort.

A college freshman was able to sneak onto the grounds of the Mar-a-Lago resort while Trump was in town, once again highlighting the major security risk Trump has created by using the facility as his so-called "winter White House."

The Palm Beach Post reported on Tuesday that Mark Lindblom, an 18-year-old student from the University of Wisconsin, snuck onto the grounds in November and wandered around unsupervised for 20 minutes.

Trump was in the West Palm Beach area when the incident occurred over the Thanksgiving holiday.

"Visiting his grandparents, who are members of the nearby Palm Beach Bath & Tennis Club, Lindblom simply walked down the beach the two clubs share," the outlet reported.

The student's attorney, Marcos Beaton, told a federal magistrate on Tuesday that Lindblom "was wanded by Secret Service agents and he walked on through."

The incident is the latest to highlight the security risks that Trump has unnecessarily created by using Mar-a-Lago as his primary retreat — where he conducts presidential business, hosts world leaders, discusses national security matters, and determines administration policy.

"Mar-a-Lago may present the worst counterintelligence nightmare the country has faced since the Cold War," former FBI counterterrorism expert Ali Soufan explained in April.

The facility cannot be completely secured by the Secret Service and other federal law enforcement agencies. That has allowed unvetted individuals to make it onto the property.

There is currently an ongoing FBI investigation into how a Chinese national, with what authorities identified as surveillance equipment, made it on to Mar-a-Lago grounds.

Trump's decision to continue operating out of Mar-a-Lago is intertwined with his refusal to divest from private Trump Organization holdings. When he visits the resort and highlights it as a hub of activity for his presidency, that helps to sell memberships — which also contributes to his personal bottom line.

Other presidents have typically used secure government facilities like Camp David as a place to relax and conduct business.

"We have Camp David precisely for the President of the United States to use it as a retreat," Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) noted in an April appearance on CNN. "We spend millions of dollars of taxpayer money every year to maintain it. [Trump] has been there once."

Speier explained that Trump goes to Mar-a-Lago to "feather his nest, create great interest in that facility, [and] up the cost of initiation to be a member," and pointed out that Trump's use of his private resort for government business makes America "ripe for the picking by the Chinese, the Russians," and other adversaries.

The latest security breach shows that our adversaries don't even need to use sophisticated spies to get close to Trump; they could just send in a college freshman.

Published with permission of The American Independent.