WaPo: Erik Prince, Seychelles Meeting Possible Kremlin Back Channel

Blackwater founder Erik Prince

Several outlets reported Tuesday that an adviser to the United Arab Emirates with ties to the Trump administration, George Nader, is cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

Although Prince had no official role in the Trump transition team, The Intercept-citing a former senior US official that advised the transition-reported in January 2017 that he had weighed in on Defense and State Department candidates and provided advice on intelligence and defense. That effort was not successful, according to Prince's statements in a subsequent deposition.

Prince said his meeting with Dmitriev came up at the last minute and at the suggestion of the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, who Prince said invited him to the Seychelles - although he told congressional investigators he could not remember when or who from Zayed's staff extended the invitation.

Special counsel Robert Mueller - according to the Washington Post - has evidence of a back channel, or the beginnings of one, between the Trump administration and the Kremlin in the form of a meeting in Seychelles, a group of islands off the coast of Africa. He refused to answer questions about things that happened after his time on the campaign, according to the committee's top Democrat, Adam Schiff of California.

Investigators now suspect that the Seychelles meeting may have been one of the first efforts to establish such a line of communications between the two governments, these people said. Nader's account is considered key evidence - but not the only evidence - about what transpired in Seychelles, according to people familiar with the matter.

Nader has long served as an adviser to the UAE leadership, and in that role he met a couple of times with Trump officials, including Steve Bannon and the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, according to people familiar with the matter.

Nader also attended meetings in the White House with Kushner and Bannon.

Mueller's investigators continue to ask witnesses - including former national security adviser Mike Flynn - about how administration officials connected with foreign officials during the campaign, transition and the administration.

Nader couldn't be reached for comment and his lawyer declined to comment.

Fox News judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano on Thursday defended the credibility of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation, noting it's the former FBI director's job to "go down any rabbit hole he finds".

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