As Trump’s lawyer’s pay to play scheme unravels in real time, Betsy Woodruff at the Daily Beast dropped an exclusive on the Trump Russia landscape:
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team has interviewed Betsy DeVos’ brother and Blackwater founder Erik Prince, according to two sources.
Trump booster Erik Prince was at the Seychelles Islands meeting, during which possible efforts were made to set up a back channel between Trump and the Kremlin.
“Prince attended a now-controversial meeting with the head of Russia’s sovereign wealth fund in the Seychelles Islands on Jan. 11, 2017—just over a week before Inauguration Day. The Washington Post reported that Mueller is interested in potential efforts at the Seychelles meeting to set up a back channel between the Trump administration and the Kremlin.”
Woodruff writes that it was not clear from the two sources what questions Mueller had for Prince.
The Post reported in March that Special counsel Robert Mueller “has gathered evidence that a secret meeting in Seychelles just before the inauguration of Donald Trump was an effort to establish a back channel between the incoming administration and the Kremlin — apparently contradicting statements made to lawmakers by one of its participants, according to people familiar with the matter.”
The Post noted at that time that Prince met with Kirill Dmitriev, a Russian wealth fund manager with ties to President Vladimir Putin in Seychelles, and “later described the meeting to congressional investigators as a chance encounter…”
Erik Prince might have lied to Congress, but this was clear last March.
The Washington Post reported in April of 2017 that the United Arab Emirates arranged the secret meeting. Prince presented himself as an “unofficial envoy” for Trump “to high-ranking Emiratis involved in setting up his meeting with the Putin confidant.”
Oil prices surged Wednesday after Trump broke the United States’ promise on the Iran deal.
All that remains for Mueller is to find evidence of how the collusion worked. Which is to say, how they communicated.
A back channel communication set up would be a large piece of the pie in proving the legal version of collusion.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.