The founder of the paramilitary security agency Blackwater, Erik Prince was heavily involved in the Donald Trump presidential campaign. He is just the last in a row of Trump’s advisers to meet with the Russians. Prince said that his role was significant, if not official.
Prince contributed, along with his sister Educational Secretary Betsy DeVos, to Trump’s campaign. He gave a minimum of $100,000 to a PAC [political action committee] managed by billionaire Robert Mercer. Silicon Valley billionaire and longtime Trump adviser Peter Thiel also used that PAC to contribute funds to Trump. According to Bloomberg News, Thiel:
‘Acted as an informal liaison to the high-tech world for the White House.’
When Prince went to see the candidate, he arrived through the back of Trump tower, then went over security and intelligence with the campaign team. He was extremely critical of President Barack Obama’s fight on terrorism policies, but lined up with Trump’s.
Earlier this month, the Washington Post reported Prince also met with one of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin’s aides in January. The United Arab Emirates arranged their meeting, which was held in Seychelles, according to Bloomberg.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer repeated his earlier comment about Prince:
‘Erik had no role in the transition.’
Prince’s spokesperson in London questioned whether the US government was monitoring his boss and said:
‘Erik had no role on the transition team. This is a complete fabrication. The meeting had nothing to do with President Trump. Why is the so-called under-resourced intelligence community messing around with surveillance of American citizens when they should be hunting terrorists?’
On the contrary, Prince met with Trump’s top campaign people “over a two to three-month period around the election,” Bloomberg reported. He advised them on restructuring U.S. intelligence agencies and fighting terror. Prince also wanted to rethink defense programs, which he felt were too expensive and was willing to break major contracts.
Prince’s meetings with Trump’s people also occurred elsewhere. Last November, he talked to two members of Trump’s transition team, Kellyanne Conway and Kevin Harrington, on a train. Thiel is on the National Security Council now and is a longtime associate of Harrington.
Blackwater carried over $1 billion in governmental contracts with the US during the Iraq war. He contracted with the government to provide guards for important visitors, carry out covert operations, and aid in military operations.
However, one of his guards killed an Iraqi official’s bodyguard. Although the man was fired, he was never charged with a crime. Then, Blackwater guards allegedly killed 14 unarmed civilian Iraqis. Four of them were convicted. Prince then sold Blackwater. The company changed its name.
He attended the presidential election party at Trump Tower.
Check out this video about Prince’s meeting with Putin’s aide:
Featured Image: Getty Images/Mark Wilson.
H/T: Bloomberg News.