Report: Officials warned Jared Kushner about friendship with Wendi Deng Murdoch

U.S. officials warned Jared Kushner earlier this year that his friendship with Wendi Deng Murdoch could be used as a conduit by the Chinese government, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

Unnamed sources told the outlet that counterintelligence officials had warned Kushner that Murdoch, a Chinese-American businesswoman who was married to News Corp. founder Rupert Murdoch, could leverage her close relationship with Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, to push the interests of the Chinese government. 

Among U.S. officials’ reported concerns was a proposed garden in Washington, D.C., funded by the Chinese government. The $100 million project has reportedly been declared a national security risk due to a tall tower that’s part of the design, which intelligence officials worry could be used for surveillance.

Murdoch’s spokesman told the Journal that she “has absolutely no knowledge of any garden projects funded by the Chinese government.”

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Wendi Deng, Putin's alleged new girlfriend and Rupert Murdoch's ex
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Wendi Deng, Putin's alleged new girlfriend and Rupert Murdoch's ex
PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 07: Wendi Deng Murdoch is seen arriving at Giambattista Valli Fashion show during Paris Fashion Week : Womenswear Fall Winter 2016/2017 on March 7, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Jacopo Raule/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 07: Wendi Deng Murdoch attends the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children's Inaugural Gala at Gotham Hall on May 7, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Stewart/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 16: Wendi Deng Murdoch attends The Metropolitan Museum Of Art's 'China: Through The Looking Glass' press presentation at Metropolitan Museum of Art on February 16, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 26: Rupert Murdoch (L) is driven from The Royal Courts of Justice with his wife Wendi Deng Murdoch and son Lachlan after giving evidence to The Leveson Inquiry on April 26, 2012 in London, England. This phase of the inquiry into the culture, practice and ethics of the press in the United Kingdom is looking at the owners of various media groups. The inquiry, which may take a year or more to complete, comes in the wake of the phone hacking scandal that saw the closure of The News of The World newspaper in 2011 (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
SUN VALLEY, ID - JULY 11: Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and CEO of News Corporation, and his wife Wendi Deng Murdoch attend Allen & Company's Sun Valley Conference on July 11, 2012 in Sun Valley, Idaho. Since 1983, the investment firm Allen & Company has annually hosted the media and technology conference which is usually attended by powerful media executives. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Ruppert Murdoch (L), chairman and CEO of News Corporation, flanked by his wife Wendi Deng (C), attends with the conference organizer Maurice Levy, CEO of Publicis, the e-G8 meeting gathering Internet and information technologies leaders and experts at the Tuileries gardens in Paris on May 24, 2011. The heads of virtual giants Facebook, Google, and eBay were invited to meet to formulate proposals on the future on the Internet ahead of the G8 summit in France. AFP PHOTO POOL / LIONEL BONAVENTURE (Photo credit should read LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 16: Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Deng Murdoch attend 'The Tree Of Life' Premiere during the 64th Annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 16, 2011 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Dominique Charriau/WireImage)
NEW YORK - JANUARY 23: Socialite Wendi Deng Murdoch attends The Australia Week 2009 Jacob's Creek Black Tie Gala on January 23, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - FEBRUARY 24: Rupert Murdoch and wife Wendi Deng attend the 16th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Oscar Party sponsored by Chopard at the Pacific Design Center on February 24, 2008 in West Hollywood, California. (PREMIUM PRICING APPLIES) (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/WireImage)
Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Deng Murdoch at premiere of 'Moulin Rouge,' New York, April 17, 2001. (Photo by Steve Eichner/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 08: (AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND OUT) Rupert Murdoch and his wife, Wendi Deng, arrive at the Australasia Dinner at the Regent Hotel on November 8, 1999 in Sydney, Australia. Rupert Murdoch is Chairman and CEO of News Corporation. (Photo by Fairfax Media via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Wendi Deng Murdoch attends the Broad Museum black tie inaugural dinner at The Broad on September 17, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
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The outlet notes that no one has been accused of wrongdoing, but said officials gave the warning “to highlight to Mr. Kushner, who was new to government, the need to be careful in his dealings with people whose interests may not align with those of the U.S.”

The meeting was described as a “routine senior staff security briefing.”

It’s unclear what, if any, reason officials had to single Murdoch out in their warning to Kushner or why they suspect her interests are not aligned with those of the United States. There is a long history of Chinese-Americans being falsely  accused of working for China.

Kushner and his wife have long been friends with Murdoch. In 2016, Ivanka Trump posted several photos of Murdoch on her Instagram account, including an image of the two traveling together in Croatia.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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