Posts Tagged ‘Mar-a-Lago’

Trump Golf: Hole-in-One for Hackers

May 19, 2017

Trump Golf: Hole-in-One for Hackers

“We parked a 17-foot motor boat in a lagoon about 800 feet from the back lawn of The Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach and pointed a 2-foot wireless antenna that resembled a potato gun toward the club. Within a minute, we spotted three weakly encrypted Wi-Fi networks. We could have hacked them in less than five minutes, but we refrained.

A few days later, we drove through the grounds of the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, with the same antenna and aimed it at the clubhouse. We identified two open Wi-Fi networks that anyone could join without a password. We resisted the temptation.

We have also visited two of President Donald Trump’s other family-run retreats, the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., and a golf club in Sterling, Virginia. Our inspections found weak and open Wi-Fi networks, wireless printers without passwords, servers with outdated and vulnerable software, and unencrypted login pages to back-end databases containing sensitive information.

The risks posed by the lax security, experts say, go well beyond simple digital snooping. Sophisticated attackers could take advantage of vulnerabilities in the Wi-Fi networks to take over devices like computers or smart phones and use them to record conversations involving anyone on the premises.

“Those networks all have to be crawling with foreign intruders, not just ProPublica,” said Dave Aitel, chief executive officer of Immunity, Inc., a digital security company, when we told him what we found.”

— “Any Half-Decent Hacker Could Break Into Mar-a-Lago,”  Jeff Larson and Julia Angwin, with Surya Mattu of Gizmodo, ProPublica.com

While the president travels with secure communication equipment, he tweets on an older model Android phone. And members and their guests could have their phones hacked to record conversations at the clubs.

Related:

“Trump’s Mar-a-Lago is heaven — for spies,” Darren Samuelsohn, Politico

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Cash-Strapped Palm Beach Considers ‘Mar-a-Lago Tax’

April 20, 2017

Cash-Strapped Palm Beach Considers 'Mar-a-Lago Tax'

Palm Beach County gave Donald Trump tax breaks when he bought Mar-a-Lago, but his weekend trips to the “Winter White House” are breaking the county’s budget. A typical Donald Trump visit costs the county more than $60,000 a day for police overtime, and the county estimated its costs for Trump’s visit with Chinese President Xi Jinping at over $250,000. That’s why County Commissioner Dave Kerner is proposing a tax on Mar-a-Lago to cover the costs. It’s that or increased taxes for local residents, whose lives are already disrupted by the president’s weekend golf jaunts.

Of course the Trump Administration could reimburse the county and add that to the $3 million in federal tax dollars each Mar-a-Lago trip costs all of us.

More:

“‘He’s baaaack!’: Trump’s visits to Mar-a-Lago are stretching Palm Beach’s budget and locals’ patience,” Abby Phillip and Lori Rozsa, Washington Post

“Palm Beach official proposes Mar-a-Lago tax to pay for Trump visits,” Brooke Seipe, The Hill

Related:

“Trump has spent one out of every five minutes of his presidency in Palm Beach,” Philip Bump, Washington Post

“GOP Senator: ‘I Do Wish’ Trump Would Host State Visits In DC, Not Mar-A-Lago,” Esme Cribb, TPM Livewire

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Mar-a-Lago Kitchens Cited for 13 Health Code Violations

April 14, 2017

13 Health Code Violations in Mar-a-Lago Kitchens

In Florida this month, members of President Trump’s pricy Mar-a-Lago club got some extras in the dining room‘s kitchen: Fish parasites, unrefrigerated raw meats, and more. Mar-a-Lago was cited for a total of 13 health code violations.

But Palm Beach is no Las Vegas. The Trump steakhouse there, DJT,  was cited for 51 health code violations in 2012.

More:

“Undercooled meat. Dangerous fish. Health inspectors ding Trump’s Mar-a-Lago kitchen,” José Lambiet, Miami Herald

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Mar-A-Lago Weekends Are ‘Part Of Being President’

March 23, 2017


Spending weekends at a private Florida club is “part of being president,” according to White House spokescreature Sean Spicer. Each weekend of presidential golf and steaks with ketchup at Mar-a-Lago is said to cost U.S. taxpayers about $3 million. For what Trump’s trips have cost to date, Meals on Wheels could feed 5,967 seniors for a year.

(more…)

Access to the President? Join the Club!

February 20, 2017

Access to the President? Join the Club!
Membership has it’s privileges, especially for those who shelled out $300,000 to join the Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey.

Back in November, President elect Donald J. Trump paraded his prospective cabinet officers into the clubhouse of his Bedminster golf club for job interviews. Now it turns out he invited random club members to sit in. Politico just got the audio, recorded by someone who was in the room. Here’s a transcript:

“We’re doing a lot of interviews tomorrow — generals, dictators, we have everything. You may wanna come around. It’ll be fun. We’re really working tomorrow. We have meetings every 15, 20 minutes with different people that will form our government.”

“We’re going to be interviewing everybody — Treasury, we’re going to be interviewing Secretary of State. We have everybody coming in — if you want to come around, it’s going to be unbelievable….so you might want to come along.”

The pattern continues now that Donald Trump is President and Golf-Cheat-In-Chief. While he was entertaining Japan’s Prime Minister Abe in the public dining room of his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida ($200,000 membership fee), aides alerted him about a North Korean ballistic missile test, and they discussed the US response in full view and earshot of the club’s members. One club member even got a selfie with the serviceman who carries the “nuclear football.” House Oversight Committee Chair Jason Chaffetz was not amused.

Mr. Trump believes that only the rich should play golf, so if you have the bucks to pay and play, you can chat with him about the nation’s business as well as your own.

More:

“Leaked Trump tape: ‘You are the special people,'” Darren Samuelsohn and Anne Karni, Politico

“Trump ran a campaign based on intelligence security. That’s not how he’s governing.” Philip Bump, Washington Post

“Sun, Sand and Influence: For Mar-a-Lago Members, Proximity Is Power,” Nicholas Confessore, Maggie Haberman, and Eric Lipton, New York Times

“Trump’s Presidency ‘Enhances’ a $200,000 Mar-a-Lago Membership,” Chas Danner, New York Magazine

“Democrats demand Mar-a-Lago list of members, visitors,” Matthew Nussbaum, Politico

“Shouldn’t We Know Who Else Is at the ‘Winter White House’?” George Zornick, The Nation

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.