WATCH: Erik Prince Claims Congressional Transcripts are Wrong, and he Didn’t Lie to Congress
Erik Prince, the controversial founder of private security firm Blackwater and brother to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, may be in some pretty hot water, given that he may have just admitted to perjuring himself while giving testimony to Congress back in November 2016.
During that testimony, Prince, who donated $250,000 to President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, told the House Intelligence Committee that he “played no official, or really, unofficial role” in Trump’s campaign.
Six months later, the New York Times reported about a meeting that took place at Trump Tower, which was then Trump’s campaign headquarters. The meeting involved Trump campaign members Donald Trump Jr. and adviser Stephen Miller, as well as Joel Zamel, an Israeli social media expert who reportedly also provided the Trump campaign with advice on how to use such media to run cyberinterference campaigns online, as well as George Nader, an adviser to the United Arab Emirates (as well as a convicted pedophile).
That report from the Times is alone enough to shed doubt on Prince’s testimony. But recent comments he made are also likely to put him at odds with his testimony.
During an interview with Al Jazeera’s Mehdi Hasan, who wrote an article with the Intercept about speaking with him, Prince stumbled to keep his story straight — and although he didn’t outright admit he committed perjury, his comments seem to suggest he did in fact lie under oath.
The video is just jaw dropping pic.twitter.com/xRMxo1arwf
— Scott Stedman (@ScottMStedman) March 8, 2019
Hasan asked Prince about the Trump Tower meeting that was reported by the Times, and Prince seemed to confirm that it did indeed happen.
“You didn’t mention anything [in Congress and under oath] about the August 2016 meeting at Trump Tower. They specifically asked you what context you [had with the Trump campaign] and you didn’t answer that” Prince had met with anyone at Trump’s campaign headquarters,” Hasan said.
“I don’t believe I was asked that question,” Prince responded.
Hasan was insistent that he had — because he was holding the receipts.
“You were asked, ‘were there any communications or contact with the campaign,'” Hasan reminded Prince. “You said, ‘apart from writing papers, putting out yard signs, no.’ That’s what you said, I’ve got the transcripts of the conversation.”
Audience members at Hasan’s event could be heard laughing and gasping. Prince looked somewhat disheveled as well, and he tried to give a more proper response.
“Sure, I think I was at campaign headquarters, possible,” Pince said. He added, with a smile on his face, “we were there to talk about Iran policy.”
That seemed to Hasan to be an admission of perjury.
When Hasan asked whether Prince thought he should have mentioned that to the committee back in 2017, Prince replied “I did.”
“You didn’t,” Hasan quipped, again referring to the notes from the transcript. More laughter ensued.
Prince then made an incredulous claim: that Hasan’s copy of the transcript was “wrong.”
Hasan pointed out that Prince might have perjured himself by not disclosing that to Congress, a habit that a lot of people who are part of Trump’s inner circle of supporters and aids seem to have.
“We know that, Robert Mueller, he hasn’t been able to establish collusion yet, but he has got a lot of guys for lying to the authorities and not telling the whole truth, is that a problem now?” Hasan asked.
Prince responded that he’s fully cooperated with the campaign and hasn’t “heard from anybody in over nine months” — which doesn’t really answer the question Hasan presented to him.