In late February, billionaire Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, was arrested in a prostitution sting centered around a day spa in Jupiter, Florida. Kraft faces two counts of soliciting sex, and prosectors say evidence includes video surveillance taken at the spa. The investigation uncovered a series of crimes taking place there, resulting in charges that include human trafficking, racketeering and money laundering.
Turns out, spa founder Cindy Yang is quite the fan of Donald Trump and Republicans, and has appeared at a number of Republican events. She was also a guest at Mar-a-Lago for a Super Bowl watch party with Donald Trump himself. Jump below for details from the Miami Herald.
The @MiamiHerald is reporting this AM that the owner of the spa where Robert Kraft was busted likes to hang with Donald Trump. Pictures of Li Yang at a Super Bowl watch party with Trump and attending a fundraiser for him are included in the report. https://t.co/T4y7ZSrlko pic.twitter.com/EHKGNkmUqb
— SFDB (@sfdb) March 8, 2019
Yang sold the spa where Kraft and others were surveilled soliciting sex. She started and flipped several spas, placing classified ads written in Chinese, but she and her family still own other Florida spas where prostitution is suspected of taking place.
“If you’re just wanting to get a ‘rub and tug,’ this might be one of the best places in West Palm Beach,” one Internet commenter wrote about a Tokyo Day Spas’ parlor. A massage therapist at a different location informed police in late 2016 that some employees at the parlor were selling sex and said management encouraged the behavior.
In recent years, Yang has increased her political activity and has had several encounters with the Trump family.
Before the 2016 general election, Yang offered no evidence of political engagement. She hadn’t voted in 10 years, records showed. But she has now become a fixture at Republican political events up and down the East Coast. Her Facebook is covered in photos of herself standing with President Trump, his two sons, Eric and Donald Jr., Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Sen. Rick Scott, Sarah Palin, the president’s campaign manager and an assortment of other high-level Republican operators she has met at charity events, political fundraisers and galas, many of which require hefty donations to attend. She sometimes carries a rhinestone encrusted MAGA clutch purse.
Yang has shown considerable political largesse. Since 2017, she and her close relatives have contributed more than $42,000 to Trump Victory, a political action committee, and more than $16,000 to the president’s campaign.
Yang also attended Republican events in D.C., including Trump’s inauguration in 2017.
The Miami Herald notes it is unclear what kind of a background check Yang underwent before gaining access to Trump at Mar-a-Lago. At the end of the day, you are the company you keep. Donald Trump and his staff need to be more cautious about whom they are meeting with, something that is probably difficult to do when they are also focused on promoting and selling access to Donald Trump, lining their own pocketbooks from appearances at Trump-owned clubs. If nothing else, it shows just how easy it is to buy access, and that should be troubling to us all.
And yes, we hate this game, but can you imagine the uproar, furor, and endless media coverage this story would be getting if it were President Barack Obama in the same situation?