Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater and brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, admitted that he attended a Trump Tower meeting with campaign officials and operatives from the Middle East after denying it under oath to the House Intelligence Committee.
Prince admitted to attending the meeting for the first time when pressed by Al Jazeera’s Mehdi Hasan about an August 3, 2016 meeting with Trump campaign officials, an Israeli social media specialist tied to intelligence forces, and an emissary of two Gulf princes.
The New York Times reported that the meeting was attended by Prince, Donald Trump Jr. and campaign officials, Saudi and United Arab Emirates emissary and former Blackwater employee George Nader, and Joel Zamel, the founder of Psy-Group, which employs former Israeli intelligence operatives and offered the Trump campaign a social media manipulation scheme during the campaign.
"We were there … to talk about Iran policy," Prince said.
But during his testimony to the Intel Committee, Prince had claimed he had "no official, or, really unofficial role" other than attending fundraisers and putting up a “yard sign.”
Asked why he didn’t disclose the meeting, Prince said he "disclosed any meetings, the very, very few" he had.
After Hasan pressed him further, Prince claimed, "I don't believe I was asked that question."
When Hasan read the part of the testimony transcript showing he denied participating in the meeting, Prince claimed, "I don't know if they got the transcript wrong."
Intel Committee chief says Prince is lying:
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff told NBC News that Prince was lying about his dishonesty to Congress.
"There's nothing wrong with our transcript. There was nothing wrong with the reporter who transcribed his testimony. He did not disclose that meeting to our committee,” Schiff said on “Meet the Press,” adding that Prince was "certainly not telling the truth in that interview."
Schiff said that Prince’s comments in the interview were inconsistent with what he told the panel and said he hopes special counsel Bob Mueller looks into whether he committed perjury.
"Bob Mueller will have to make the decision about whether that rises to the level of deliberate falsehood," Schiff said.
Prince was also involved with Russia talks:
Along with his role at the Trump Tower meeting, Prince was also involved in another meeting with a Russian oligarch that was believed to have been set up by Nader.
“In January 2017, he met in the Seychelles with Kirill Dmitriev, who runs the Russian Direct Investment Fund, a sovereign wealth fund of more than $10 billion hit by U.S. sanctions after the annexation of Crimea,” New York Magazine reported. “Prince has said that the pair spent half an hour talking oil and commodity prices, and in a 2017 interview with CNN, he described Dmitriev as ‘some fund manager’ whose name he couldn’t remember. But federal investigators may see the meeting in a different light: It was believed to have been brokered by the UAE, and could have been one of the first in a series of attempts to establish a back channel between Trump and Putin.”