Jan 15, 2018

Report: U.S. warned Jared Kushner about Wendi Deng Murdoch

Wendi Deng Murdoch, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. Photo: Patrick McMullan / Getty Images

In 2017, U.S. counterintelligence officials warned Jared Kushner that Chinese-American businesswoman Wendi Deng Murdoch could be using her close relationship to Kushner and Ivanka Trump to push the Chinese agenda, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: The warning was part of an ongoing effort to alert Kushner of the risks of dealing with people with foreign connections. Murdoch, who kept her married name after divorcing Newscorp CEO Rupert Murdoch in 2013, has been on counterintelligence radars for years. U.S. officials assessed that she was lobbying for a $100 million Chinese garden at the National Arboretum in D.C., which was ultimately deemed a security risk because its 70-foot tower could be used for surveillance.

  • A spokesman for Murdoch said 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.”
  • A representative for Kushner and Ivanka described the warning as a “routine senior staff security briefing” and added 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.”

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 786,291 — Total deaths: 37,820 — Total recoveries: 166,088.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 164,620 — Total deaths: 3,170— Total recoveries: 5,943.
  3. Federal government latest: The White House will extend its social distancing guidelines until April 30.
  4. State updates: Rural-state governors say testing is still inadequate, contradicting Trump — Virginia, Maryland and D.C. issue stay-at-home orders to residents, joining 28 other states.
  5. Business latest: Ford and General Electric aim to make 50,000 ventilators in 100 days.
  6. In photos: Navy hospital ship arrives in Manhattan.
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