Ivanka Trump and her long-time friend Wendi Deng Murdoch, ex-wife of conservative media mogul Rupert Murdoch, spent time together in Croatia in 2016, according to the first daughter’s Instagram account — at a time that Deng Murdoch was rumored to be romantically involved with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
According to Forward, Trump shared “a snap to Instagram of the duo posing in Dubrovnik, Croatia” where she and her husband, Jared Kushner, were on vacation.
Forward also noted that Trump had “gushed” about Deng Murdoch in a profile put together by Vogue the month prior to their trip:
“I can’t recall the last time I had a conversation with her that didn’t conclude with her connecting me to four people who might become great friends or great business opportunities,” Trump said of her friend.
In March of the same year, Us Weekly reported that Deng Murdoch and Putin — who stands accused of interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election — were possibly involved in a romantic relationship, after she was seen “boarding the St. Barths–docked yacht of Russian businessman Roman Abramovich.”
“After Putin’s election, the billionaire reportedly gifted him a $35 million yacht to add to his collection of playthings,” Vanity Fair noted at the time. Putin had divorced his wife of 30 years in 2014.
When Trump and Kushner landed in the White House following Donald Trump’s election as president, U.S. counterintelligence officials reportedly warned the couple that Deng Murdoch could be using their friendship as a means to further the interests of China’s government.