Blackwater founder Erik Prince details meeting with Russian in Seychelles

Blackwater founder Erik Prince details meeting with Russian in Seychelles

Prince's testimony to the House Intelligence Committee was released Wednesday, and showed his denials of any impropriety in meeting a Russian government banker during a January visit to the Seychelles.

That meeting has drawn the attention of congressional committees looking into potentially improper contacts between the Trump campaign and transition team with Russians, and sparked questions about whether Prince may have been an unofficial envoy on behalf of Trump or his associates.

Also in the interview, Prince accused former national security adviser Susan Rice and other National Security Council staffers in the Obama administration of leaking electronic surveillance of his meeting with the Russian in the Seychelles to The Washington Post, which first reported his Seychelles meeting.

"On the details of this meeting, Prince was less than forthcoming and sought to represent that his discussion with Dmitriev, which comprised a third of the time he was conducting meetings in the Seychelles, was merely coincidental", Rep.

Democrats on the panel have pointed out that the December meeting between the Trump transition and the UAE took place just weeks prior to Prince's January 11 meeting with Dmitriev, which was brokered by Emirati officials.

Prince told congressional investigators that he was a donor to Trump's campaign who later submitted policy papers to members of the president-elect's transition team. Prince's November 30 testimony in which he talked about a business trip to the Indian Ocean country of Seychelles to hold a summit with United Arab Emirates business partners. He said he had previously known those people.

Devin Nunes met with Blackwater founder and Russian Federation probe witness Erik Prince earlier this year.

Prince also said that his trip to the Seychelles, which he said was to meet with UAE officials about business opportunities, did not have anything to do with Russian Federation. He said, you should meet him.

"It was a matter of, 'Hey, while you're here, there's a Russian guy that we've done some business with in the past, and it'd be interesting for you to meet him, '" Prince told investigators. The person said something along the lines of, "He'll be down in the bar area after dinner, if you wanted to meet this guy".

Prince told the committee that Dmitriev expressed that he wished "trade would resume with the United States in a normal way".

Prince responded by telling Dmitriev that "if Franklin Roosevelt could work with Josef Stalin to defeat Nazi fascism, certainly the United States could work with Vladimir Putin to defeat Islamic fascism".

Prince, chairman of the Hong-Kong-based Frontier Services Group, said he knew Dmitriev was a Russian fund manager, but didn't realise that the Russian government controlled it and that it had been sanctioned by the USA since 2015 due to Russia's actions in Ukraine.

According to Prince's recollections of the meeting, Dmitriev told the former military contractor that he wished trade would resume between the United States and Russian Federation "in a normal way", but did not discuss US sanctions at all.

When Prince objected to extending questioning for another 30 minutes, Schiff replied, "It's not up to you to decide how long the hearing goes on". I flew in this morning from Africa, and I've had about enough of this.

Prince also complained during his testimony about U.S. intelligence community spying on Americans, and so-called improper identifying or "unmasking" of Americans caught up in surveillance of foreigners.

On his way out, Prince told reporters that Schiff should apologize for "wasting all of our time, for wasting millions of taxpayer dollars on a meaningless fishing expedition".

Prince said he never told Bannon about meeting Dmitriev, and could not recall if he ever told Bannon about his meeting with MBZ.

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