Florida massage parlor mogul Cindy Yang denied reports suggesting that she hawked access to President Trump in an interview with NBC today, telling the network that she was a victim of a politically motivated smear campaign.
“I’m Republican and I’m Chinese,” the network quoted her as saying. “That’s the reason the Democrats want to check me.”
She added that she had taken the American name Cindy after immigrating in 1999, out of appreciation for musician Cyndi Lauper.
Yang came under media scrutiny after New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was indicted for solicitation as part of a prostitution sting at a Florida massage parlor she founded, but subsequently sold the parlor.
“I sold to her in 2012 or 2013,” Yang told NBC. “How they do their business has nothing to do with me.”
Yang’s penchant for posting pictures of herself with Trump and GOP notables at Mar-a-Lago raised eyebrows, as did reports that she was selling wealthy Chinese individuals access to Trump at his Palm Beach estate. Her apparent ties to Chinese government organizations haven’t helped, either.
Despite Yang’s link to the massage parlor chain and reports indicating she may have been peddling access to Trump, she has not been accused of any criminal wrongdoing.
In a separate interview with ABC, Yang defended Trump.
“I totally believed he’s a business person,” she told the network. “I’m a small business person too. I believe that we will make America great again.”
She told NBC that Trump had won her support in part because of his tax policy. “Reduce the tax. That would help us a lot,” NBC quoted her as saying.
Yang also told NBC that stress from the media coverage has taken a toll.
“I’m so scared,” she told NBC, reportedly adding that she has difficulty sleeping and eating.