Thursday, March 08, 2018

That Meeting In The Seychelles

Robert Mueller has another cooperating witness. His name is George Nader. Mueller is interested in Nader because of a meeting he attended. Andrew Prokop reports in Vox that Nader met with Erik Prince and a Russian representative in the Seychelles:

Nader helped organize, and attended, that curious Seychelles meeting on January 11, 2017, shortly before Trump’s inauguration. The meeting brought together Erik Prince, Trump donor and founder of the private security company Blackwater, with Kirill Dmitriev, who manages a Russian sovereign wealth fund and is thought to be close to Vladimir Putin.

Prince is the brother of Trump's Secretary of Education, Betsy deVos:

Anonymous sources have long claimed to reporters that the purpose of the Seychelles meeting was for Trump’s team to covertly communicate with Putin’s team. After all, it happened just weeks after Jared Kushner reportedly told the Russians that he wanted to set up a backchannel through which they could communicate.
But Prince has hotly denied that that’s what happened, including in sworn testimony last year. He said he just made the Seychelles trip for business reasons, that he was in no way representing Trump, and that the meeting with Dmitriev was both entirely unplanned on his end and completely uneventful.

It appears, however, that Nader is contradicting Prince's story:

The Washington Post’s Sari Horwitz and Devlin Barrett reported Wednesday that Nader is saying the meeting was “an effort to establish a back channel between the incoming administration and the Kremlin” — and that Mueller has other evidence to that effect, as well.
If Prince was acting on the Trump’s team behalf, it would demolish months’ worth of denials from both him and the White House that he was doing any such thing. And it would raise serious questions about just why, exactly, all parties involved were so set on keeping the Seychelles meeting secret.

There is a clear pattern to all of this. When Trump and his associates issue a denial, there is usually something percolating up to the top. And Mueller captures everything -- even the last drop.



Toby said...

Having "a back channel between the incoming administration and the Kremlin” is not necessarily a bad thing. The important issue is what it is used for.

Owen Gray said...

Back channel diplomacy solved the Cuban Missle Crisis, Toby. But, in Trump's case, you have to wonder what was going on.

Lorne said...

Anything involving 'back channels' and Trump has to be regarded suspiciously, Owen. As well, given that the meeting was so close to the inauguration, one wonders what Team Trump needed to discuss with the Russians so urgently that couldn't have been done more openly just a short time later, after Trump became president.

Owen Gray said...

Trump can't excape the smell of corruption, Lorne. More importantly, it appears he can't escape evidence of illegality.

John B. said...

Erik wouldn't have to go through all this inconvenience if the deep state would just get off his back.

“They just fly into the airport and then get in their black cars and drive away.”

What would Ollie North do?

Owen Gray said...

It sounds like Olie and Erik were cut from the same piece of cloth, John.

John B. said...

Same everything, Owen.

“Prince is on his way to being an American hero just like Ollie North was."

- Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, Oct 2007

And yesterday:

"Blackwater founder Erik Prince will host a fundraiser this month for Russia-friendly Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher ... .

"The fundraising event, slated for March 18 at Prince's Middleburg, Virginia residence, is expected to be attended by GOP Reps. Tom Garrett Jr. and Dave Brat, and Lt. Colonel Oliver North, according to an invitation obtained by CNN."

Owen Gray said...

An important piece of additional information, John. These guys freelance American foreeign policy. It appears that the recent announcement about talks with North Korea underscore the fact that Donald Trump also freelances American foreign policy. Fools all.