A Lebanese-American executive who advises the United Arab Emirates is cooperating with Russia special counsel Robert Mueller on whether foreign dollars were funneled to President Donald Trump's campaign, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
The Times cited "two people familiar with the matter," who said the executive, George Nader, gave testimony to a grand jury last week.
Nader, 58, who advises Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the UAE's de facto ruler, was first served with search warrants and a grand jury subpoena Jan. 17, the Times reported.
He had not long landed at Washington Dulles International Airport, "two people familiar with the episode" said.
Nader was to travel to Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida for a celebration of the president's first year in office.
However, FBI agents detained and questioned Nader "for more than two hours" and seized his electronics.
Nader has since been "questioned numerous times" by Mueller's investigators about meetings at the White House, in New York — and at a hotel in Seychelles, a sovereign state overlooking the Indian Ocean, the Times disclosed.
A lawyer for Nader did not respond to requests for comment.
According to the report, Mueller's team has examined a January 2017 meeting in Seychelles that brought together Nader, a Russian investor close to President Vladimir Putin, and Erik Prince, the founder of the Blackwater private-security firm.
The session was convened by Crown Prince Mohammed.
Erik Prince, according to the Times, was included because he had informally advised President Trump's team during the transition, "three people familiar with the meeting" said.
UAE officials believed Prince was speaking for the Trump transition team, while Kirill Dmitriev, a Moscow fund manager, represented Putin.
Nader, "who grew close later to several advisers in the Trump White House," once worked as a Blackwater consultant.
Nader introduced his former employer to Dmitriev, who once worked at Goldman Sachs banker and is a Harvard MBA, the Times reported.
A spokesman for Dmitriev has repeatedly declined to comment to the newspaper about the Seychelles meeting, as has the UAE ambassador to Washington, Yousef al-Otaiba.
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