Not long into Donald Trump's presidency, Jared Kushner was told to tread carefully in his friendship with Wendi Deng Murdoch, the Wall Street Journal reports. The warning came via US counterintelligence authorities, per the Journal's sources, and was based on the belief that Murdoch could be capitalizing on the relationship she had with Kushner and wife Ivanka Trump to push the Chinese government's agenda. 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 rep for Murdoch says she is unaware "of any garden projects funded by the Chinese government," and said government staunchly denied it.
The paper notes that none of the parties involved have been accused of doing anything nefarious. The upshot seems to be that the warning "was part of an effort" to tell someone "new to government [of] the need to be careful in his dealings with people whose interests may not align with those of the US." Such a warning in such a scenario is not uncommon. New York magazine points out the story comes via a paper owned by News Corp, whose CEO is Murdoch's ex, Rupert Murdoch. It flags this Monday tweet from Fire and Fury author Michael Wolff (a co-founder of Newser), who also wrote a biography on Rupert Murdoch: "Since their divorce, Murdoch has been telling anybody who would listen that Wendi is a Chinese spy--and had been throughout the marriage." (Read more Jared Kushner stories.)