Erik Prince, the founder of the security firm Blackwater, which provides training for the U.S. military, met with a Russian operative with close ties to President Vladimir Putin as an “unofficial envoy” for Donald Trump, the Washington Post reports.
On Jan. 11, Prince met with the Russian in the Seychelles Island to try and “establish a back-channel line of communication” between Putin and Trump. Prince had no formal role with the campaign, but he donated $250,000 to the president’s 2016 campaign. He is also the brother of Betsy DeVos, whom Trump tapped to be his Secretary of Education.
In a statement, White House press secretary said the administration is unaware “of any meetings,” emphasizing that “Erik Prince had no role in the transition.”
A spokesman for Prince called the Post’s characterization of the meeting as a “complete fabrication.”
“The meeting had nothing to do with President Trump,” a spokesman for Pence said. “Why is the so-called under-resourced intelligence community messing around with surveillance of American citizens when they should be hunting terrorists?”
Read the full article at the Washington Post, and watch the video below: