USA counterintelligence officials told White House senior adviser Jared Kushner in early 2017 that Wendi Murdoch may be leveraging her relationship with him to help advance the interests of the Chinese government, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday night, citing people familiar with the matter.
The report claimed that officials were also anxious that Deng Murdoch was also assisting the Chinese government through her projects, such as lobbying for the construction of a $100 million China-funded garden project at the National Arboretum in Washington D.C, which officials suspected could be used for surveillance. It flags one particular point of concern: a proposed $100 million Chinese garden at the National Arboretum on an elevated patch of land within 5 miles of the White House; it was to feature a 70-foot tower that raised surveillance concerns.
A spokesperson for Deng Murdoch said she had no knowledge of such a project.
President Donald Trump also served as a trustee for an estate established by Murdoch for her children until 2016.
WSJ said a representative for Mr Kushner and Ms Trump described the interaction with the officials as a "routine senior staff security briefing", and that none of the people mentioned have been accused of wrongdoing.
According to a source quoted in the Journal's article, Murdoch has surfaced on the radar of counter-intelligence services before. Regardless she utilizes her wedded name.
Kushner, Ivanka Trump, and Deng Murdoch were not immediately available for comment outside of regular business hours. Murdoch and Blair have denied they were ever romantically connected. He filed for divorce in 2013. "Count me deeply sceptical", he posted on Twitter.
The Journal has written extensively about Wendi Murdoch's background before, including before Rupert Murdoch bought the newspaper in 2007.
In November 2000 the Journal published an investigation into Wendi Murdochthat claimed an Californian couple sponsored her application for a student visa in the U.S., helped teach her English and gave her somewhere to stay. News Corp said at the time that Murdoch was "entitled to her privacy" and questioned details in the story.