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Transcript: Erik Prince discussed trade, terrorism with Russian banker in Seychelles

Transcript: Erik Prince discussed trade, terrorism with Russian banker in Seychelles”

Schiff also noted that in his testimony, Prince acknowledged that he learned from Trump's chief campaign strategist Steve Bannon about a secret December 2016 meeting in New York City between high-ranking Trump transition and UAE officials, included the emirate's crown prince, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Erik Prince, the Trump-boosting founder of defunct military contracting firm Blackwater, was conspicuously elusive when members of Congress grilled him over his contacts with a Kremlin-connected banker, records made public Wednesday reveal.

Representative Adam Schiff, the Democratic ranking member, told him that if he did not cooperate, the committee would issue a subpoena to compel him to return.

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.

"The Emiratis I'd just met with previously said, there's an interesting guy from Russian Federation you should meet if you have any business in the commodity space, which I do", Prince told the committee.

Dmietriev was described to him, he testified, as a "Russian guy that we've dealt with in the past" who would "an interesting guy for you to know, since you're doing a lot in the oil and gas and mineral pace". "So I met him in the bar and had a drink".

"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.

The transcript showed a combative hearing, in which Prince accused the committee's Democrats of a fishing expedition and complained they were wasting his time.

"Prince also could not adequately explain why he travelled halfway around the world to meet with UAE officials and, ultimately, the head of the Russian fund", said Schiff.

At the time, The Post reported that the meeting was part of an apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow and then-President-elect Trump.

"It is, because I'm here voluntarily", Prince shot back. Dmitriev did, however, express "how much he wished trade would resume with the United States in a normal way".

During that meeting, he said, those potential customers simply "mentioned a guy who I should also meet who was also in town". They met and discussed oil and commodity prices and trade between Russian Federation and the United States, he testified.

The state-run investment firm that Dmitriev leads in Russian Federation was sanctioned by the U.S. in 2015.

Prince's sister, Betsy DeVos, is Trump's Secretary of Education. He didn't relay his conversation with Dmitriev back to the Trump Organization, transition or administration, he added.

The leak of the existence of the meeting, Prince said, angered the Emiratis whom he had traveled to the Seychelles to meet.

"I was roaming, so data roaming is expensive when you're overseas", Prince said.

Prince is best known for his role running Blackwater, which was hired to provide private security during the U.S. war in Iraq.

Prince said he and the crown prince's conversation stuck to the problem of terrorism and aluminum manufacturing costs.

Discussing the January meeting, Prince said that at the request of a prince from the United Arab Emirates, he traveled to the Seychelles islands to discuss business opportunities with the prince and his associates.



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