Jared Kushner's Long Friendship With Chinese-American Businesswoman Raises Red Flags

Steve Bannon, chief strategist for President-elect Donald Trump, left, talks with Jared Kushner before the start of a President-elect Donald Trump's news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Jared Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump may have to reconsider their group of friends.

A new report says last year, Kushner was warned about their relationship with Wendi Deng Murdoch – a Chinese-American businesswoman and former wife of Rupert Murdoch.

In the story from the Wall Street Journal, it appears Kushner was warned by counterintelligence officials that there was some concern, in regards to Murdoch and her role in pushing for a Chinese-government funded garden in Washington, D.C.

The Chinese garden, which would have cost $100 million and would be located in the National Arboretum, would have included a 70-foot-tall tower that U.S. officials deemed a national security risk.

Officials feared that the structure could be used for surveillance, as it would have been located on a high patch of land less than five miles from the White House and U.S. Capitol building, according to The Journal.

Kushner and his family business do seem unusually wrapped up in dealings with China, so I can see how intelligence officials might be a little jumpy.

Earlier in 2017, Kushner’s family business came under fire after a pitch in Shanghai to a group of Chinese businessmen and women, where they were allegedly told that for a $500,000 investment in a Kushner real estate project, they’d be guaranteed their EB-5 visas – visas that lead to citizenship – presumably because of Kushner’s connections to the president.

A spokesman for Wendi Deng Murdoch told The Journal she “has no knowledge of any FBI concerns or other intelligence agency concerns relating to her or her associations” and that she “has absolutely no knowledge of any garden projects funded by the Chinese government.”

Of course she doesn’t. Those concerns were raised for no discernible reasons. It happens, right?

Representatives for “Javanka” have said that the warning was just a routine security briefing.

The spokesman also told The Journal that Kushner “has complied with all ethics and disclosure recommendations and has played a helpful role in strengthening the U.S.-China relationship so as to help bring about a better resolution to the many issues the countries have.”

The Chinese Embassy in D.C. isn’t thrilled. They blew off the concerns as “groundless speculation.”

Ok. Maybe.