In an interview that aired on CNBC, Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater and a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump, elaborated on why he was contacted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and what the meeting with his investigators was like.
“Look, anytime you sit down for an interview like that it’s — I think you probably would rather go to a proctology exam,” Prince said, according to reporting from CNBC.
Although his comments suggested that he found the interview to be quite daunting, Prince said the meeting itself was “much ado about nothing.”
“I answered their questions, and they haven’t talked to me since,” Prince said.
Previous reporting from the Washington Post indicated that Mueller and his team were seeking out Prince due to a meeting he had in the United Arab Emirates shortly after Trump won the presidential election in 2016, but before he actually became president.
Erik Prince, the founder of private security company Blackwater, is launching a fund to capitalise on the scramble for battery metals across Africa and Asia, as the world’s largest carmakers gear up to go electric. The post Erik Prince to launch fund… https://t.co/WBI6EfgYqG pic.twitter.com/IzkMHSi2yo
— BusinessDay (@BusinessDayNg) January 3, 2019
Prince was serving as an informal adviser to the president at the time, and had met with a man named Kirill Dmitriev, who runs Russia’s sovereign investment and has strong ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Individuals with knowledge of Dmitriev and Prince’s meeting say that it was set up in advance, and included discussions into finding ways to form backchannel communications between Trump and Putin.
Prince denied those allegations, stating that the meeting was a chance encounter during a trip he made to celebrate Trump’s win.
“I went to see an old friend, leadership in the [United Arab Emirates] after the election, and there was a Russian there,” Prince said. “So I had no contact with him before, no contact after.”
Beyond being a strong supporter of Trump’s and a former adviser to the president-elect during the transition period, Prince has other ties to the White House: his sister is Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
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Chris Walker is a freelance writer based out of Madison, Wisconsin. A millennial with more than a decade of journalism experience, Chris aims to provide readers with the latest and most accurate news of national importance. Chris likes to spend his free time doing activities in his community with his family.