Administration

US officials warned Kushner about friendship with Wendi Deng Murdoch: report

U.S. officials warned Jared Kushner last year that his friend, Chinese-American businesswoman Wendi Deng Murdoch, could be taking advantage of her close friendship with Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, to promote China’s business interests, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

Sources told The Journal that counterintelligence officials had warned Kushner about the relationship and said they were concerned about Murdoch’s role in pushing for a Chinese-government funded garden in Washington, D.C.

{mosads}The Chinese garden, which would have cost $100 million and would be located in the National Arboretum, would have included a 70-foot-tall tower that U.S. officials deemed a national security risk.

Officials feared that the structure could be used for surveillance, as it would have been located on a high patch of land less than five miles from the White House and U.S. Capitol building, according to The Journal.

Kushner and Trump, both White House advisers, have had a close relationship with Murdoch for years, including during her marriage to Rupert Murdoch. The couple divorced in 2013.

A spokesman for Wendi Deng Murdoch told The Journal she “has no knowledge of any FBI concerns or other intelligence agency concerns relating to her or her associations” and that she “has absolutely no knowledge of any garden projects funded by the Chinese government.”

Kushner and Trump’s representative told The Journal that the warning about Murdoch was a “routine senior staff security briefing.”

The spokesman also told The Journal that Kushner “has complied with all ethics and disclosure recommendations and has played a helpful role in strengthening the U.S.-China relationship so as to help bring about a better resolution to the many issues the countries have.”

The Chinese Embassy in D.C. told The Journal its report was “full of groundless speculations.”

Tags chinese government Ivanka Trump Ivanka Trump Jared Kushner Jared Kushner Wendi Deng Murdoch

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