Adviser to UAE crown prince reportedly cooperating in Mueller probe


The meeting was a chance encounter not a planned discussion, Prince later described to congressional investigators.

The information comes to light after it was revealed that George Nader, a representative of the United Arab Emirates who was part of the Seychelles meeting, is cooperating with Mueller's investigation.

He said the objective of the meeting was for a Trump representative to meet with a Russian official close to President Vladimir Putin to discuss relations between the two nations.

If confirmed, the nature of the Seychelles meeting would not be the first time the White House has allegedly tried to establish a back-channel with Russian Federation. Her family played a large role in former White House advisor Steve Bannon becoming head of the Trump campaign in August 2016.

Nader also had long-time connections to Prince, and he reportedly introduced the security entrepreneur to Dmitriev.

And he's told lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee that he didn't plan to meet Dmitriev in the Seychelles - and that he went there as a private businessman and not as an emissary of the Trump transition team, the Post reported.

Prince, who founded the private security company Blackwater, arrived in the Seychelles in order to meet with Crown Prince Mohammed and other Emirati officials, according to The Times, although it is unclear what the meeting was about.

Nader, according to current and former officials, was known to Trump transition and administration officials as someone with political connections in the Middle East who could help navigate the tricky diplomacy of the region.

Prince has sharply disputed that account, saying he did not present himself as a representative of the incoming administration.

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 could not be reached for comment, and his lawyer declined to comment.

Rice sought the names of senior Trump officials in order to find out why Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the crown prince of the UAE, chose to visit NY late 2017, she told the committee in a closed-door interview, according to a CNN report at the time.

Prince was never officially part of Trump's transition, but frequently communicated with its members and served as an unofficial representative for it, according to investigators. Former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation previous year and is cooperating with the Mueller probe, was reportedly also at the meeting.

The Washington Post, citing USA officials, said such a concession by Moscow would have been required to justify any easing of US sanctions on Russian Federation by the Trump administration.