Michelle Steel and #1 Campaign Supporter Tied To Scheme To Give Chinese Nationals Influence In White House
As reports come out on how President Trump has “pleaded” with the President of Xi of China for help in Trump’s reelection bid, new reporting from the Wall Street Journal shows Orange County Congressional candidate, Michelle Steel’s husband is at the center of a scandal for his work to open doors for Chinese nationals to funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars in political donations to Trump and the RNC’s reelection efforts.
According to the Journal, the hundreds of thousands of dollars in political donations came from Chinese foreign nationals who had strong and direct ties to China’s national security apparatus and the Chinese central government. The donations were also among the largest to Trump’s reelect in 2017 and were made at a time when the Trump Administration was planning its policy toward China.
Steel’s relationship with these Chinese foreign nationals was so suspect and embarrassing for the GOP, the RNC instructed Steel “to break ties” with his international political colleagues. And when asked why he was hosting these Chinese foreign nationals and opening doors for them to the Trump reelection campaign, Steel had no response.
All the while career politician Michelle Steel sits as Chair of the Trump White House’s AAPI Commission but has had ZERO to say regarding her husband’s work influence peddling the Trump Administration on behalf of foreign government.
Statement from DCCC Spokesperson Andy Orellana:
“Michelle Steel’s silence on her husband peddling access to foreign governments in order to influence our elections, tells the voters all they need to know about whose best interests she has at heart – not the families of Orange County. Let’s not forget that the voters of CA-48 already rejected in 2018 a coopted Republican official with direct ties to a foreign government, and they don’t want another corrupted Republican who’s lobbying for foreign interests over the needs of Californians.”
Read the full story on how Steel happily turned a blind eye to her number one supporter peddling donations and foreign influence into the Trump world – HERE or BELOW.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars in political donations opened doors in Washington for Chinese nationals with high-level ties
By Brian Spegele | June 23, 2020
Soon after Donald Trump took office, people with ties to the Chinese state poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into his re-election bid to get close to and potentially influence the new president.
The effort had early success in gaining access, in particular with those involved meeting the president or top Republicans at fundraisers or at an internal GOP leadership meeting. It reveals how China seeks to build inroads into U.S. politics, gather information on U.S. leaders and if possible affect policy-making.
Several of those involved in the effort worked closely with China’s national-security apparatus, including organizations linked to its military, and briefed prominent Chinese political figures about their efforts.
As guests of a Republican official named Shawn Steel, Chinese nationals, including a man working for China’s central government, attended an invitation-only gathering in May 2017 where GOP leaders discussed campaign strategies and other issues.
In response to inquiries, the Republican National Committee said it had instructed Mr. Steel to break ties with several people identified in Wall Street Journal reporting.
Separately, Mr. Steel, a Republican national committeeman from California, said it would be “false, defamatory, and offensive” to say he aided any Chinese efforts. He didn’t respond to specific questions.
Most of the political donations identified by the Journal flowed to a fundraising committee called Trump Victory in the first half of the Trump presidency. The donations were among the largest of 2017, as the young administration was planning its China policy.
Soon after the 2016 election, officials from China’s consulate in Los Angeles approached a pro-Trump organizer named David Tian Wang, said people who worked with him. A native of China with a U.S. green card, Mr. Wang had founded a group called Chinese Americans for Trump and had long associations with people and groups in California supported by China’s government, according to Chinese official websites and state media.
The Chinese consulate asked for Mr. Wang’s help in lobbying on China issues during the Trump administration, said Lance Chen, a former member of Mr. Wang’s political group. Mr. Chen said Mr. Wang tried to recruit him for the lobbying effort but he declined to help.
Mr. Wang was soon listed as chief executive of a newly registered government-relations firm in California, Wang & Ma Government Relations LLC, state business records show. He also gave $150,000 to the Trump Victory fundraising committee, according to Federal Election Commission disclosures.
He became a frequent presence in Republican circles. In one case, Mr. Wang was quoted in Chinese-language media in the U.S. as saying he used access to the Trump campaign to push a view that U.S. military deployments in the contested South China Sea were a waste of money.
Lobbyists for foreign governments are required to register with the Justice Department. Mr. Wang’s name doesn’t appear in the department’s foreign-agents database.
In May 2017, Mr. Wang attended a Republican National Committee invitation-only leadership meeting in San Diego as a guest of Mr. Steel, the California committeeman, people familiar with the matter said. The gathering was an early chance for Republican leaders to plan the path forward for the party after Mr. Trump’s inauguration.
Accompanying Mr. Wang to the meeting as Mr. Steel’s guests were three men linked to China’s government. The first was Zhao Gang, whom Chinese official websites identify as a researcher for China’s Ministry of Science and Technology focused on national security, tech diplomacy and other issues. Mr. Zhao’s work has connected him with the senior echelons of China’s Communist Party, including a close associate of President Xi Jinping, say people who have met Mr. Zhao.
Another was Tang Ben, a China-born U.S. citizen who served as an executive-committee member at the China Strategic Culture Promotion Association, an opaque group that state media have said advises China’s leaders on security issues. Its secretary-general, retired Maj. Gen. Luo Yuan, is well-known to U.S. officials for his hawkish posture toward the U.S.
The third was Li Su, a government-connected businessman who has worked closely with a well-known former associate of China’s vice president.
The presence of Messrs. Zhao and Li at the GOP leadership event was unusual because federal election rules don’t permit foreign nationals to play any role in decision making at U.S. political committees.
The RNC said the men who attended the Republican Party meeting in San Diego didn’t have any meaningful interaction with GOP leaders there. However, it said, it has barred them from future RNC events.
The committee also said it now has tightened its policy on guests at such meetings, effectively excluding foreign nationals, and it has cut ties with Mr. Wang, the founder of Chinese Americans for Trump.
Mr. Steel said he doesn’t “collect money from, nor have received any funds from” Messrs. Zhao, Tang, Li or Wang. Mr. Steel didn’t answer a question about why they were there as his guests.
The Federal Election Commission declined to comment on the men’s attendance at the Republican meeting, citing “potential for this matter to come before the Commission in an enforcement capacity.”
Following the San Diego meeting, Messrs. Zhao, Tang and Li briefed a group of Chinese political figures in China, including retired Gen. Luo, on their access to top Republicans, according to a video of the event. Mr. Li said Mr. Trump’s election could prove a win for China, according to the video.
In June 2017, Trump Victory received a combined $300,000 from Mr. Tang and his wife. The donations allowed Mr. Tang to attend a fundraiser at Washington’s Trump International Hotel, where he led Chinese guests to meet the president. The contributions by the Tangs, who FEC records show hadn’t previously given to Mr. Trump, were two of the biggest donations Trump Victory received in 2017.