Erik Prince, the billionaire head of mercenary firm Blackwater, admitted on Friday to attending a Trump Tower meeting with Donald Trump Jr and a representative of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates [on August 3, 2016] during the presidential campaign.
…The meeting was significant since it represents the first time that a country other than Russia had been suspected of offering assistance to the Trump campaign in the months leading up to the 2016 election.
…During the interview on Al Jazeera’s Head to Head program, Prince admitted: ‘We were there … to talk about Iran policy.’
…[The meeting] included George Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman who was acting as an emissary to both the Saudis and the UAE …[who] reportedly told Don Jr that the ruling royals in those countries were eager to see his father win the election.
…Zamel’s company, Psy-Group, employs former Israeli intelligence operatives, whose specialty is to manipulate social media.
Nader reportedly paid Zamel upwards of $2million for his services after Trump won the election, according to the Times.
Cyprus-based Psy-Group reportedly worked on a proposal for a ‘covert multimillion-dollar online manipulation campaign’ to help Trump, utilizing thousands of fake social media accounts, the Times report said.
…The meeting had already drawn attention from investigators because of the way it brought together Prince, representatives of the UAE, and a Russian oligarch just days before Donald Trump took office.
…Nader, who has been interviewed by Mueller’s team several times, said the Emiratis wanted to introduce a Russian close to the Kremlin to someone who was close to the incoming administration.
…Nader met with Prince at the Pierre hotel in New York in advance of the Seychelles get-together, which took place Jan. 11 in the Pacific nation.
He also sent biographical information to Prince about the meeting – which might suggest something other than a chance encounter.
That information ‘noted that Dmitriev had been appointed by Putin to oversee the state-run sovereign wealth fund,’ the report said, citing sources.