Washington [US], October 16 (ANI): Chinese businessman Tao Liu, who has a criminal background in China and is termed a fugitive, has recently met former US president Donald Trump in September which American investigators believed Liu may have infiltrated US politics as part of a Chinese intelligence operation.
Tao Liu, who met Trump in July 2018 and in September 2022, had recently rented a luxurious apartment in Trump Tower in New York and boasted of joining the exclusive Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, according to ProPublica.
But Liu, who is suspected to be a spy was also a fugitive from Chinese justice. Media reports, which were published three years before the meeting and the publications were overseas, had described him as the mastermind of a conspiracy that defrauded thousands of investors.
He had ties to Chinese and Latin American organized crime. Perhaps most worrisome, the FBI was monitoring him because of suspicions that he was working with Chinese spies on a covert operation to buy access to US political figures.
Both the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation pursued Liu, suspecting he had ties to Chinese spy agencies, reported ProPublica.
Earlier, in September, Liu, and Cinque, heads of the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences met the president again during an event at Bedminster, according to one of the photos which were published on the Chinese website of the Long Innovations International Group.
In one of the photos, Trump was smiling with Liu, Cinque, and three men who, according to a close associate, were visiting Liu from China for the occasion.
Interestingly, Cinque has given at least 22 awards to Trump ventures, including the Bedminster club, and it once billed Trump as its Ambassador Extraordinaire.
The photos appeared on the Chinese website of the Long Innovations International Group, also known as the Longchuang International Group. The consulting firm owned by Lou, the GOP fundraiser, has organized events allowing Chinese elites to meet US leaders. The caption used in the photo states: "Longchuang Group and Blue Ocean expert consultant team Trump luncheon, reported ProPublica.
According to ProPublica, before their first meeting, Liu built his profile in Manhattan and made it clear to associates that he was eager to meet Trump. For help, he turned to Cinque, the longtime Trump associate, according to interviews, photos, and social media posts.
But in several media interviews, in 2016, Trump told that he didn't know Cinque well and was unaware of his criminal record.
Liu dined with Cinque in May 2018 and they hit it off, according to photos and Liu's associates. And from there they made it to the first meeting in July 2018.
Meanwhile, Cinque told that people in the Chinese American community introduced him to Liu, describing him as a wealthy entrepreneur and a "good person," according to ProPublica.
On July 20, CNBC aired an interview with Trump in which he complained about the trade deficit with China.
"We have been ripped off by China for a long time," ProPublica reported Trump as saying.
By the next day, Liu's efforts to gain access to the president had paid off. He met Trump at Bedminster, according to interviews and photos obtained by ProPublica. (ANI)