According to the Wall Street Journal, U.S. intelligence officials warned the president's son-in-law last year that a personal friend might actually be a Chinese spy and could be using the friendship to advance Chinese government interests.
Chinese-American businesswoman Wendi Deng Murdoch, formerly married to Rupert Murdoch, has rumored connections to Vladimir Putin of Russia.
Citing unidentified sources familiar with the matter, the Journal said US officials were also concerned that the ex-wife of media magnate Rupert Murdoch – who owns the newspaper – was lobbying to push a major Chinese-funded construction project in Washington.
The Journal said intelligence officials consider it a national security risk because it features a 21-metre tower that could be used for surveillance.
Michael Wolff, author of the explosive "Fire and Fury" book about the Trump White House, also wrote a book about Rupert Murdoch. He tweeted Monday that Murdoch was aware of his ex-wife's spying tendencies:
Since their divorce, Murdoch has been telling anybody who would listen that Wendi is a Chinese spy--and had been throughout the marriage.
But the former Mrs. Murdoch has denied the report via a spokesperson:
A spokesman for Wendi Deng Murdoch said she “has no knowledge of any FBI concerns or other intelligence agency concerns relating to her or her associations,” and denied she was aware of the garden project.
Rupert Murdoch‘s ex-wife Wendi Deng Murdoch has denied rumors she is dating Russian President Vladimir Putin – and also hit out at claims she had a relationship with former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Earlier this year, rumors swirled that Deng Murdoch, 47, and 63-year-old Putin, who is married, had sparked a romance. But Deng Murdoch told Vogue that she doesn’t even know the Russian president.
“I’ve never met Putin,” she told the magazine. “But wow, so much press about it. Why did they choose me?”
As for the Chinese government? Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang responded to the Journal's report saying,
“We really hope relevant people can put the pragmatic cooperation between US and China in all areas in perspective.
“This serves the fundamental interests of the two peoples. We do not want relevant parties to make trouble in the pragmatic cooperation between China and the US.”