Blackwater founder Erik Prince represented Donald Trump at a secret overseas meeting in early January with an unnamed Russian emissary close to Vladimir Putin, two intelligence sources familiar with the matter told NBC News.
The meeting on the Seychelles islands, which was first reported by the Washington Post and confirmed by NBC News sources, was arranged by the United Arab Emirates. The Post said the meeting was an effort to convince Russia to stop backing Iran.
According to intelligence reports filed at the time, no Trump transition people were directly involved and it is unclear if the meeting was undertaken on behalf of Trump's people or was a UAE initiative, the official said.
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Prince donated to Trump's campaign and is the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. His firm Blackwater became a private security provider for the U.S. government in Iraq.