Erik Prince: I Attended Trump Tower Meeting

Elias Hubbard
Марта 11, 2019

In Head to Head's wide-ranging interview with Prince, the Blackwater founder also responds to questions about his meeting in the Seychelles with a Russian businessman close to the Kremlin and discusses the private security company's history during the Iraq War, including the Nisour Square massacre, as well as his proposal for ending the war in Afghanistan. The meeting involved Trump campaign members Donald Trump Jr. and adviser Stephen Miller, as well as Joel Zamel, an Israeli social media expert who reportedly also provided the Trump campaign with advice on how to use such media to run cyberinterference campaigns online, as well as George Nader, an adviser to the United Arab Emirates (as well as a convicted pedophile). Prince, Hasan explained, confirmed the existence of a meeting during the 2016 campaign that had been reported on but has still largely remains obscure. Prince said the meeting was about Iran policy.

Six months later, the New York Times reported about a meeting that took place at Trump Tower, which was then Trump's campaign headquarters.

The meeting may be significant for any number of reasons, but Hasan zeroed in on one reason in particular. He "did" inform the committee about the meeting, Prince told me.

Prince never officially worked for the Trump campaign, transition or administration. But by recently admitting to this secret meeting at Trump Tower in 2016, Prince may have openly confessed to lying to Congress. Especially if it was about a sensitive foreign policy issue like Iran?

I asked Blackwater founder Erik Prince about calling Iraqis "barbarians" and about the murder & manslaughter that happened on his watch in Iraq.

A staff member of the House Intelligence Committee told Al Jazeera that Prince was not asked about the August 3, 2016 meeting in Trump Tower during his testimony and any redactions that were made to that testimony were done to protect personally identifiable information. Why wasn't it in the transcript of the hearing then, I countered?

"I don't know if they got the transcript wrong" is, to say the least, an unconvincing answer. Later in the interview, he tries a similar angle, claiming that "not all of the discussion that day was transcribed". Prince said in congressional testimony in 2017 that he had no "official" or "unofficial" role in the campaign - other than a "yard sign" and writing "papers" - according to the transcript of his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee.

For his part, Prince has denied wrongdoing and said past year he had "cooperated" with Mueller. Hasan warned that the lies "could come back to haunt you", but Prince seemed confident he is not at any risk of indictment.

Hasan pointed out that Prince might have perjured himself by not disclosing that to Congress, a habit that a lot of people who are part of Trump's inner circle of supporters and aids seem to have. If Mueller isn't done yet with taking major prosecutorial steps, Prince may be next on his list.

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