Secret Service slams 'outlandish' reports of Mar-a-Lago examination tactics

The Secret Service on Tuesday slammed "outlandish" suggestions that its agents are "incompetent to carry out forensic examinations" following the arrest of a Chinese national who is accused of trying to enter President TrumpDonald John TrumpJulián Castro: It's time for House Democrats to 'do something' about Trump Warren: Congress is 'complicit' with Trump 'by failing to act' Sanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest MORE's Mar-a-Lago club with a thumb drive containing malware.

“Assertions that U.S. Secret Service agents are incompetent to carry out forensic examinations on digital media (ie thumbdrives, laptops, cellphones, etc.) is outlandish and not rooted in fact," a Secret Service spokesperson said in a released statement.


The spokesperson added that the agency's Electronic Crimes Special Agent Program (ECSAP) "is internationally recognized" said there are special agents who "receive extensive training in computer forensics and undergo a rigorous certification process."

"Forensic examinations conducted by these personnel are done in accordance with U.S. Secret Service standard operating policies and procedures. Secret Service forensic examinations are conducted on standalone computers, equipped with specialized forensic software, which are not connected to Secret Service networks," the spokesperson said.

Yujing Zhang, the Chinese national, was arrested last week after attempting to enter a Mar-a-Lago pool with the thumb drive. The arrest has sparked concerns about security at the Florida property where the president often spends weekends when away from Washington.

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer, Pelosi push Trump to back universal background check bill Sinema says she would back Kennedy in race against Markey Democrats threaten to withhold defense votes over wall MORE (D-N.Y.) on Monday called on outgoing Secret Service Director Randolph Alles to testify about possible security vulnerabilities at the resort.

“The outgoing Secret Service director must testify before Congress as soon as possible about the potential security vulnerabilities at Mar-a-Lago involving a Chinese national arrested with malware, and other counterintelligence and national security threats," Schumer said in a statement.