Tags: Russia Probe | erik prince | blackwater | secret meeting | seychelles | kremlin | back channel

WaPo: Erik Prince, Seychelles Meeting Possible Kremlin Back Channel

Image: WaPo: Erik Prince, Seychelles Meeting Possible Kremlin Back Channel
Erik Prince, founder of Blackwater USA. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 07 March 2018 08:56 PM

Special counsel Robert Mueller has evidence that a secret January 2017 Seychelles meeting was an effort to set up a back channel between the incoming Trump administration and the Kremlin, The Washington Post reported.

Erik Prince, the founder of the private security company Blackwater, met with a Russian official close to Russian President Vladi­mir Putin just before the inauguration — and later described it to congressional investigators as a chance encounter, the Post reported.

But according to the Post, which cited unnamed sources, a witness cooperating with the Mueller probe has told investigators the meeting was set up in advance so that a Trump transition representative could meet with an emissary from Moscow to discuss future relations between the countries.

The cooperating Mueller witness, George Nader, is a Lebanese American businessman who helped organize and attended the Seychelles meeting.

Nader’s cooperation with the special counsel was first reported by The New York Times.

The Post reported Nader has testified before a grand jury gathering evidence about discussions between the Trump transition team and emissaries of the Kremlin as part of Mueller’s investigation.

Nader began cooperating with Mueller after he arrived at Dulles Airport in mid-January and was stopped, served with a subpoena and questioned by the FBI, the Post reported. He’s met numerous times with investigators, the Post reported.

Last year, Prince told lawmakers — and the news media — that his Seychelles meeting with Kirill Dmitriev, the head of a Russian government-controlled wealth fund, was an unplanned, unimportant encounter that came about by chance because he happened to be at a luxury hotel in the Indian Ocean island nation with officials from the United Arab Emirates.

He’s previously denied reports that the Seychelles meeting was to establish a back-channel between Washington and Moscow, the Post reported.

And he’s told lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee that he didn’t plan to meet Dmitriev in the Seychelles — and that he went there as a private businessman and not as an emissary of the Trump transition team, the Post reported.

According to the Post, investigators now suspect the Seychelles meeting may have been one of the first efforts to establish such a line of communications between the two governments.

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Special counsel Robert Mueller has evidence that a secret January 2017 Seychelles meeting was an effort to set up a back channel between the incoming Trump administration and the Kremlin, The Washington Post reported.Erik Prince, the founder of the private security company...
erik prince, blackwater, secret meeting, seychelles, kremlin, back channel
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2018-56-07
Wednesday, 07 March 2018 08:56 PM
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