Jared Kushner was told by U.S. intelligence officials that his family friend, Rupert Murdoch’s ex-wife Wendi Deng Murdoch, might be trying to help the Chinese government. That is according to a bombshell report from the Wall Street Journal.
The report, citing unnamed U.S. officials, said that Wendi Murdoch might have been trying to assist the Chinese government through several projects, including a construction project at the National Arboretum in Washington D.C.
Rupert and Wendi Deng Murdoch are friends of Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, who are both senior advisers to President Donald Trump. Even after the Murdoch’s divorced in 2013, Wendi Murdoch remained close to Trump family, vacationing with Ivanka shortly before the 2016 election and visiting her Washington home after Trump took office.
Deng Murdoch, who is Chinese-American, was not directly accused of a crime according to the report. Instead, the Wall Street Journal described the warning by intelligence officials as “part of an effort by national-security officials to highlight to Mr. Kushner, who was new to government, the need to be careful in his dealings with people.”
The National Arboretum plan included the building of a Chinese Garden and a 70 foot-tall tower that could be used for surveilling Washington, intelligence officials worried.
A spokesman for Deng Murdoch told the paper that she did not know about the Arboretum project, which has been cancelled.
Deng Murdoch has also been rumored to have had relationships with several high profile politicians, including former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, and even Russian President Vladimir Putin, relationships that would be of interest to intelligence officials.
Kushner himself has faced questions about his meeting with Kremlin-tied officials, including Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak; Sergey Gorkov, who heads a Russian bank; and Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer who met with Kushner and other Trump campaign staff members in a now infamous Trump Tower meeting.
Those meetings and others came out after Kushner was forced to repeatedly revise his security clearance forms due to new disclosures, and by the end of 2017 he still didn’t have a permanent clearance.
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