The Miami Herald has published a story this morning with the headline Trump cheered Kraft’s team to Super Bowl victory with founder of spa where he was busted, and there’s certainly a lot to unpack.
It features a picture of the president with Li Yang at his Super Bowl LIII Mar-a-Lago watch party. Yang, who emigrated from China, started a chain of day spas in South Florida which, according to the article, are known to have a reputation for extracurricular activity.
One of those was Orchids of Asia Day Spa, where New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft allegedly visited, leading to an arrest for solicitation of prostitution.
Yang says she had long since sold Orchids of Asia Day Spa, the massage parlor where authorities say they caught Kraft on camera paying for oral sex the morning of the Jan. 20 AFC Championship game — his second visit in 24 hours. (Kraft has denied breaking the law.) Yang, who goes by Cindy, was not charged in the multi-agency anti-human trafficking operation last month that shut down 10 Asian day spas in Florida, none of which are registered to her or her family.
In a brief phone interview, Yang said she and her family have never broken the law, but did not answer questions about whether she knew of the allegations that therapists in her spas were offering sex. She added that she was out of the business, would soon be moving to Washington, D.C., and didn’t want any negative press.
Since the 2016 election cycle began, Yang has been a fixture at Republican political events, contributing around $58,000 to Trump-related committees. She was invited to the White House for an Asian-American and Pacific Islander Initiative event last year, the Herald reports.
Trump and Kraft have a longstanding friendship. The president addressed last month’s scandal.
“Well, it’s very sad,” he said. “I was very surprised to see it. He’s proclaimed his innocence totally, but I’m very surprised to see it.”
It’s tough to know what to make of this story, what with all the ins and outs and what-have-yous. It does seem, however, to be a small world among the Palm Beach glitterati.