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United States special counsel probes Seychelles meeting with Russian


He specifically denied past year that the meeting was arranged to set up a back channel of communication with the Kremlin.

George Nader, a low-profile diplomatic go-between who has forged close ties to the Emirates, was stopped and questioned by the Federal Bureau of Investigation at Dulles International Airport in January as he returned from an overseas trip, these sources say.

GOP members of the committee have been pressing to bring the panel's Russian Federation investigation to a close and issue a report that Democratic members are not likely to endorse.

George Nader, an adviser to the United Arab Emirates who has been a target of the special counsel's ongoing probe, was previously arrested and charged over child pornography, according to a report.

Prince had no formal role in Trump's campaign and said he went to the Seychelles as a private businessman, not as an unofficial emissary for Trump. "I remember telling him that if Franklin Roosevelt could work with Josef Stalin to defeat Nazi fascism, then certainly Donald Trump could work with Vladimir Putin to defeat Islamic fascism". In December 2016, White House senior adviser and Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner met with then-Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak to talk about setting up an unofficial communication channel, The Times reported past year. Prince had acted as an informal adviser to Trump's transition team, The Times reported.

Prince, for his part, criticized the Obama administration late 2017 for unmasking him while surveilling several people who met with foreign officials.

A spokesman for the special counsel declined to comment.

The Washington Post said that while Mueller is probing the circumstances of the Seychelles meeting, he is also more broadly examining apparent efforts by the Trump transition team to create a back channel for secret talks with the Kremlin.




The special counsel's questions about the Emiratis point to an investigation that has expanded beyond Russian meddling in the 2016 election to broader concerns about foreign influence during the presidential campaign and long after it concluded. -Russian relations, according to people familiar with the matter.

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.

Senior adviser Jared Kushner sits behind President Donald Trump during a cabinet meeting at the White House.

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

Based on information it has gathered, Mueller's office claimed that the meeting between Prince and Dmitriev had in fact been premeditated, and was meant to coordinate an eventual meeting between a representative of Trump's transition team and a Russian Federation emissary.

The UAE agreed to broker the meeting in part to explore whether Russian Federation could be persuaded to curtail its relationship with Iran, including in Syria, a Trump administration objective, according to U.S. European and Arab officials.

"This is an issue that is clearly important to our investigation", Schiff said of the Intelligence Committee's probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign and whether anyone close to Trump collaborated in it. Schiff said he also wants Prince to turn over documents the committee has sought, but which he hasn't yet provided. Devlin Barrett writes about national security and law enforcement for The Washington Post.

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