Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) accused Erik Prince, former head of mercenary contractor Blackwater, of concealing a second shadowy Trump Tower meeting with a representative of foreign governments during Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Prince “did not disclose that meeting” in his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, Schiff said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” He “certainly wasn’t telling the truth” when he insisted in a recent interview that he had.
Prince, a Trump supporter and brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, told Al Jazeera that he had informed the committee about a meeting involving him, Donald Trump Jr., White House aide Stephen Miller and an emissary representing Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to discuss “Iran policy” three months before the election.
The emissary said the Saudis and the UAE wanted to help Trump win the presidency, The New York Times reported.
But Al Jazeera interviewer Mehdi Hasan said transcripts of Prince’s committee testimony revealed he hadn’t mentioned the meeting and insisted he played no role in Trump’s campaign. Prince suggested the transcripts were “wrong.”
Prince is “certainly not telling the truth,” Schiff said. “There was nothing wrong with the transcript.”
Schiff said Prince was asked about any substantive policy conversations he might have had and he didn’t mention the Trump Tower huddle, according to the transcript.
“We had questions at the time about his [Prince’s] candor and how forthcoming he was, and those questions have only been heightened now,” Schiff added.
Just two months before the Prince meeting, Donald Jr., now-senior White House aide Jared Kushner and then-campaign manager (now convicted felon) Paul Manafort met at Trump Tower with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer.
Both meetings raise questions about possible foreign interference in the presidential election.
After Trump was elected, his administration terminated American participation in the Iran nuclear pact over the strenuous objections of Europe and Iran, a move that pleased the Saudis and other Gulf allies. Trump also took no action in response to the assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which American intelligence officials determined was ordered by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.