Sunday, 21 October, 2018

United States special counsel probes Seychelles meeting with Russian

03_07_ErikPrince Mueller Sees Cooperation of Witness to Erik Prince Meeting With Russian Government Banker
Adrian Cunningham | 08 March, 2018, 23:28

Prince denied that he met with Dmitriev on behalf of Trump and referred reporters to his public comments on the meeting previous year.

U.S., European and Arab officials told The Washington Post last April that the meeting was part of an effort to set up back-channel communications between the Kremlin and then President-elect Donald Trump.

Nader has long served as an adviser to the UAE leadership, and in that role he met a few times with Trump officials, including Stephen K. Bannon and the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, according to people familiar with the matter.

The two men, he said, spoke for no more than 30 minutes, or about the time it took him to drink a beer. He says he was there for business reasons and was not representing the Trump team.

Although Prince had no official role in the Trump transition team, The Intercept-citing a former senior USA official that advised the transition-reported in January 2017 that he had weighed in on Defense and State Department candidates and provided advice on intelligence and defense. The meeting has been previously reported.

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Nader is also a former consultant for Prince's firm Blackwater, which controversially provided mercenaries to the US during the Iraq War. Prince told The Daily Caller News Foundation in October 2017 Sessions should launch a probe into his case, where Obama administration officials leaked what he called false information to the news media. Prince visited the transition team's New York City office in December 2016.

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. He said the objective of the meeting was for a Trump representative to meet with a Russian official close to President Vladimir Putin to discuss relations between the two nations.

Prince also told congressional investigators he did not remember when or where he had a conversation with Steve Bannon, then a senior Trump adviser, during which Bannon told Prince he had met MBZ in NY in December, just weeks before Prince traveled to the Seychelles.

He called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to launch a formal investigation into the Obama administration's incidental surveillance of Americans who met with foreign officials during the presidential campaign.

Nader has long served as an adviser to the UAE leadership, and in that role he met a couple of times with Trump officials, including Steve Bannon and the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, according to people familiar with the matter. However, according to people familiar with the Seychelles meeting, he presented himself as an unofficial envoy for Trump to high-ranking Emiratis involved in setting up his discussion with the Russian official.

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