Four foreign countries secretly discussed how they could manipulate Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, according to The Washington Post.
Officials from the United Arab Emirates, China, Israel and Mexico talked about how they could influence Mr Kushner to their advantage, according to the paper.
The claims were sourced to “current and former officials” and centred around taking advantage of his complex business arrangements and lack of foreign policy experience.
It comes as Mr Kushner was stripped of his access to “top secret” intelligence because he has failed to gain permanent security clearance more than a year after taking office.
Mr Kushner, who is married to Mr Trump’s daughter Ivanka, took an unpaid role as a senior adviser to the president after the 2016 election victory.
The 37-year-old previously headed up the family business Kushner Cos before passing control on to relatives when he entered the White House.
The company bought the US office tower 666 Fifth Ave in New York for $1.8 billion in 2007, just before the financial crisis of 2008.
The company reportedly has a $1.2 billion debt that is due in January 2019, with Mr Kushner said to have been attempting to secure new investment before he entered office.
HR McMaster, Mr Trump’s national security adviser, was taken aback by Mr Kushner’s foreign contacts, according to The Washington Post.
A spokesman for Mr McMaster played down the story, saying he had the “highest regard” for Mr Kushner.
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Peter Mirijanian, a spokesman for Kushner’s lawyer, said: “We will not respond substantively to unnamed sources peddling second-hand hearsay with rank speculation that continue to leak inaccurate information.”
Mr Kushner’s access to secret intelligence became a point on debate after a scandal about a White House aide, Rob Porter, who resigned after being accused of abuse by two former wives.
Mr Kushner, who is said to have the president’s ear, is also leading drives to reform the prison system and improve technology innovation.
The row has increased tensions between Mr Kelly, the former gold star general, and Mr Kushner and Ms Trump, who have been dubbed ‘Javanka’ by critics.
Mr Kelly has privately dismissed Ms Trump’s role in the White House as just “playing government” and called her child tax credit plans a “pet project”, according to CNN.
A White House official quoted by the political website Axios said: “Javanka [Jared and Ivanka] and Kelly are locked in a death match. Two enter. Only one survives.”