Sunday, 17 February, 2019

Trump Ally Reportedly Lied to Congress About Secret Back Channel to Russian Federation

Blackwater founder Erik Prince Blackwater founder Erik Prince
Nellie Chapman | 08 March, 2018, 09:32

A Middle East specialist with ties to Donald Trump's team attended secret meetings during the presidential transition between the United Arab Emirates and Trump associates, and is now cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller, two people familiar with the matter say.

Erik Prince, founder of military contractor Blackwater and a supporter of President Donald Trump, told U.S. lawmakers past year he had discussed U.S. -Russia relations during a meeting in the Seychelles with a Russian business executive with ties to the Kremlin. Anonymous sources have told several outlets the meeting was an attempt to set up a line of communication between the Trump team and Russian Federation.

This explosive information comes from the sworn statements of one of the participants in the meeting and a cooperating witness in Mueller's probe: George Nader, a top adviser to the United Arab Emirates with ties to several Trump officials.

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

Nader testified before a grand jury about the meeting earlier this year, and according to The Post, a witness told Mueller that the Seychelles meeting was set up in advance to discuss US-Russia relations.

As we now know, the meeting was also arranged with the help of Nader, who the F.B.I. picked up at Dulles International Airport in January.

According to the Times, Mr. Mueller is investigating whether Emirati money found its way to the Trump campaign, which would be illegal.

UAE adviser George Nader reportedly convened a meeting with Erik Prince and Kirill Dmitriev, informal advisers to the USA and Russian governments respectively. Those outlets also reported Nader attended that Seychelles meeting previous year.

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

Prince is the brother of Trump's Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and contributed $100,000 during the election to a Political Action Committee run by Rebekah Mercer.

Nader is also a former consultant for Prince's firm Blackwater, which controversially provided mercenaries to the USA during the Iraq War.

Those publications have reported that Nader had ongoing communications with key Trump team members, including former chief strategist Steve Bannon and adviser Jared Kushner.

After the Seychelles meeting, Dmitriev also met with Anthony Scaramucci, who would later become the White House communications director, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Prince said he was introduced to Dmitriev by U.A.E. officials and spoke with the Russian for no more than 30 minutes.