President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka helped to oversee a trust fund worth nearly $300 million on behalf of Fox owner Rupert Murdoch’s two youngest daughters, the Financial Times reported Wednesday.
The FT quoted a spokesman for the President’s daughter as saying that she had stepped down from a five-person trustee board at the end of December, pre-empting suggestions of any improper association with one of the U.S.’s most powerful media moguls.
However, Ivanka Trump had previously sat on the trust’s board for “several years,” administering nearly $300 million in shares in 21st Century Fox (FOX) and News Corp (NWS), on behalf of Grace and Chloe Murdoch, aged 15 and 13 respectively. Grace and Chloe are Murdoch’s children by his third wife, Wendi Deng.
The FT said Ivanka’s status “underscored the close ties” between Ivanka’s father and Murdoch, whose News Corp also publishes The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post.
Murdoch’s Fox News became the top-rating prime-time news channel in the U.S. last year, riding the wave of support for Trump after its pundits initially appeared to favor other, more Establishment, candidates in the Republican primary field.
The FT said Murdoch senior, who returned to run Fox after the sexual harassment scandal that forced out long-time CEO Roger Ailes, “is in regular touch with the new President and his daughter.”
The extent of those contacts is still a matter of public interest. New York Magazine reported last month that Trump had asked Murdoch’s advice on whom to appoint as the new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC regulates Fox and is also in charge of reviewing the merger between AT&T (T)and Time Warner (TWX), the latter of which competes with Fox in both the TV and movie businesses.
News Corp and Fox declined to comment.