Trump and Deng Murdoch have been friends for years—according to People, Deng Murdoch set up Trump with her husband Jared Kushner. Trump and Kushner apparently traveled to Croatia together without their three children.
The timing of the women’s meeting is notable because Trump’s father, the Republican nominee for president, has courted Putin’s affections and expressed his admiration for the Russian autocrat. Numerous advisers to his campaign have ties to Russia, and speculation abounds that Trump’s unreleased tax returns would reveal heavy debts owed to Russian business interests.
The New York Times reported on Sunday that secret documents recovered from an office in Ukraine showed $12.7 million in payments between 2007 and 2012 to Trump’s current campaign manager, Paul Manafort, who worked as a consultant for the deposed, pro-Russia Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.