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Blackwater Founder Admits to Trump Tower Meeting

Erik Prince is the first to acknowledge it happened
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2019 2:15 PM CST
Blackwater founder Erik Prince arrives for a closed meeting with members of the House Intelligence Committee, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

(Newser) – Blackwater founder Erik Prince may have played a role in the Trump presidential campaign after all. Speaking Friday to Al Jazeera, Prince admitted to attending a controversial 2016 Trump Tower meeting to "talk about Iran policy"—a fact he left out when talking to the House Intelligence Committee in 2017, the Hill reports. According to a New York Times report last year, Prince organized the meeting in which Lebanese-American businessman George Nader told Donald Trump Jr that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates wanted to help Donald Trump get elected. But a transcript of Prince's chat with the House committee shows he never brought that up. He said he had "no official" or "really unofficial role" in the campaign.

On Al Jazeera's Head to Head, it was a different story: "We were there ... to talk about Iran policy," Prince said, per Al Jazeera. Asked why he hadn't informed the House committee, Prince first said he "disclosed any meetings, the very, very few" he had, but when further pressed, he said, "I don't believe I was asked that question," and later said he did tell them, claiming, "I don't know if they got the transcript wrong." But he "certainly" recalls telling "investigators" about the meeting, he added. This marked the first public acknowledgement of the 2016 Trump Tower meeting and has sparked reactions from Trump critics, including this tweet from Rep. Ted Lieu: "Sure looks like Erik Prince committed perjury." (See our report on the controversial meeting.)

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