According to a bombshell report by The Washington Post, Blackwater founder Erik Prince met with a Russian close to President Vladimir Putin in early January in what The Post reports was an apparent effort to create a back channel line of communications between Moscow and the incoming Trump administration.
The meeting, on the Seychelles islands, occurred less than two weeks before President Trump’s inauguration.
The United Arab Emirates agreed to arrange the meeting in order to see if Russia might roll back its support for Iran, including its ties in Syria. The full agenda of the meeting, however, is still unclear.
The Post reported that Prince, who donated to the Trump campaign and is the brother of Education Secretary Betsy Devos, presented himself as an unofficial envoy for Trump.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer told the Post, however, that Prince played no role in the transition and that the administration was not aware of the meeting.
“We are not aware of any meetings and Erik Prince had no role in the transition,” Spicer said.