Speed Reads


Report: Kushner warned Wendi Deng Murdoch could be using him to further China's interests

In early 2017, President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner was told by U.S. counterintelligence officials that businesswoman Wendi Deng Murdoch, a friend of Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, could be using her relationship with the pair to push Beijing's agenda, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.

There is also concern that Murdoch was lobbying for a planned $100 million Chinese garden at the National Arboretum, paid for by the Chinese government, which had a 70-foot tower the intelligence community was worried could be used for surveillance, the Journal reports. Murdoch, the ex-wife of media magnate (and Wall Street Journal owner) Rupert Murdoch, came to the U.S. from China in 1988, is a U.S. citizen, and has been friends with Kushner and Ivanka Trump for several years. Because Kushner had no previous experience in Washington, the officials wanted him to be aware of who he was dealing with at all times, especially those who might not have the same interests as the United States, people familiar with the interaction said.

Murdoch's spokesman said she "has no knowledge of any FBI concerns or other intelligence agency concerns relating to her or her associations" and "has absolutely no knowledge of any garden projects funded by the Chinese government."