Blackwater Founder Linked To Trump-Putin ‘Back-Channel’ Effort
Prince’s sister also serves as secretary of education for the Trump administration.
The Washington Post has found just days before President Donald Trump’s inauguration, the alleged secret meeting was brokered by officials with the United Arab Emirates in the Seychelles islands to encourage Russian Federation to stop backing Iran, a long-time Kremlin ally. The UAE apparently agreed to broker the meeting in part to explore whether Russian Federation could be persuaded to curtail its relationship with Iran, including its involvement in Syria.
According to unidentified USA officials, the FBI has been investigating Prince’s meeting with the Putin associate as part of a larger investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.
However, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has declined to comment.
Noting the secret meeting was set up by representatives from the UAE, host Anderson Cooper said that Prince had contacts in many countries helping build private paramilitary forces across the Middle East.
And a couple of weeks earlier, the Emirati who officials say arranged the Seychelles encounter – the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheik Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan – had made an undisclosed visit to meet with Bannon and top Trump advisers Michael Flynn and Jared Kushner, according to the officials.
The Post originally reported that US, European, and Arab officials concluded that the arrangement was apparently meant to forge a covert line of communication between Russian Federation and then-President-elect Trump. “Why is the so-called under-resourced intelligence community messing around with surveillance of American citizens when they should be hunting terrorists?” said a Prince spokesperson.
Prince donated $250,000 to Trump’s election campaign and super-PACs supportive of the billionaire.
The Post reported that the meeting was an unofficial attempt to create a backchannel between the Kremlin and the White House. Russian Federation and Iran are diplomatic allies, while the UAE and Iran are regional rivals.
Unidentified officials told the newspaper that Prince sold himself to high-ranking UAE officials as an unofficial envoy for Trump.
Prince founded the notorious private security firm Blackwater, which rose to infamy in September 2007 after its operatives gunned down 17 Iraqi civilians, including a 9-year-old boy in Baghdad’s Nisour Square.
The participants were Erik Prince – founder of the Blackwater security firm – and a Russian official closed to Putin.
A second source said he believed the meeting was not about Russian Federation.
“I wouldn’t be surprised at all”, Seychelles’ secretary of state for foreign affairs Barry Faure told the Washington Post. “But I guess this time you smelled something.” Wow. Moreover, Prince is also well-acquainted with Trump’s chief strategist and political advisor Steve Bannon, having appeared as a guest on Bannon’s radio talk show for Breitbart News. Page is referred to in the filing as “Male-1”. “There’s so many people that are more relevant”, the official said.
The FBI has been looking into the Seychelles meeting as part of an investigation into Russian interference in the USA election, the Post reported. Unfortunately, the Seychelles government doesn’t sound like it will be much help in getting to the bottom of this mystery, since they politely explained to the Post that they don’t know whether any such meeting even happened.