Special Counsel Robert Mueller has evidence that an associate of the Trump administration met with a Russian official closely aligned with Vladimir Putin for the purpose of establishing a communications back channel.
Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has gathered evidence that a secret meeting in the Seychelles just before the inauguration of Donald Trump was an effort to establish a back channel between the incoming administration and the Kremlin — apparently contradicting statements made to lawmakers by one of its participants, according to people familiar with the matter.
The associate, Erik Prince, the founder of notorious military contracting firm Blackwater, told congressional lawmakers that his meeting with the Russian official occurred by chance.
However, the Washington Post reports that the Special Counsel has evidence contradicting Prince's assertion.
Investigators now suspect that the Seychelles meeting may have been one of the first efforts to establish such a line of communications between the two governments, these people said. Nader’s account is considered key evidence — but not the only evidence — about what transpired in the Seychelles, according to people familiar with the matter. Prince had no formal role with the Trump campaign or transition. However, according to people familiar with the Seychelles meeting, he presented himself as an unofficial envoy for Trump to high-ranking Emiratis involved in setting up his discussion with the Russian official.