The 2016 Trump Tower meetings have more stories yet to be revealed, and it’s unlikely that Special Counsel Robert Mueller hasn’t already unraveled many of the threads. In attendance at one meeting in August 2016, according to what was already known, were Donald Trump, Jr., George Nadar, Stephen Miller, and Saudi officials.
Remarkable @mehdirhasan interview: Erik Prince admits to meeting with members of the Trump campaign in August 2016 after, according to a public transcript, apparently failing to disclose the gathering during his testimony in front of the House Intelligence Committee last year. pic.twitter.com/7l5c51Cewk
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) March 8, 2019
Now, another attendee has admitted he was in attendance. Erik Prince, the brother of Trump’s Secretary of Education Betsy Devos, stated on Al Jazeera’s Head to Head program that although he told the House Intelligence Committee that he had no official role in the Trump campaign, he was also present at that meeting. Prince says that the meeting was about Iran policy.
‘Prince testified under oath that he had “no official, or, really unofficial role” in the Trump campaign. He also told the House panel that he did not have any formal communications or contact with the campaign other than policy papers given to Steve Bannon, attending some fundraisers and a “yard sign”.’
Erik Prince confirmed his 2016 meeting at Trump Tower for the first time. But he misrepresented his 2017 testimony to Congress — and contradicted himself in the process. What does he have to hide? asks @mehdirhasan. https://t.co/VOj0PP2afp
— The Intercept (@theintercept) March 8, 2019
Prince’s role seems to have gone much further than he was previously willing to admit to Congress. In fact, he arranged the meeting between the Saudi officials who wanted to help Trump with a social media campaign to win the presidency.
The New York Times reported that:
‘Erik Prince, the private security contractor and the former head of Blackwater, arranged the meeting, which took place on Aug. 3, 2016. The emissary, George Nader, told Donald Trump Jr. that the princes who led Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were eager to help his father win election as president. The social media specialist, Joel Zamel, extolled his company’s ability to give an edge to a political campaign; by that time, the firm had already drawn up a multimillion-dollar proposal for a social media manipulation effort to help elect Mr. Trump.’
— Media Matters (@mmfa) March 9, 2019
Asked during the appearance on Head to Head whether he had disclosed his presence at that meeting to Congress, Prince first said he had disclosed all of the “very, very few” meetings, but later said he didn’t believe he had been asked that question. Later, he changed his story once again and said that he had been honest about the meeting. When asked why his testimony about that meeting wasn’t in the official transcript of his testimony, Prince said that the transcript might have been incorrect or that some of the discussion may not have been included in the transcript.
‘The Blackwater founder’s comments…is the first time that Prince or anyone else who reportedly attended the meeting has publicly acknowledged it and the first indication that it could have been about Iran policy. At the time, Nader was reportedly seeking to advance a clandestine plan to destabilise Iran through the use of private military contractors.’
Erik Prince responds that the U.S. Congress “got the transcript wrong” when asked why he didn’t tell the House Intel Committee about an Aug 2016 meeting he attended at Trump Tower. @Mehdirhasan goes 'head to head' with Erik Prince NOW @AJEnglish. pic.twitter.com/VCB7HKdyjT
— Head to Head (@AJHeadtoHead) March 8, 2019