Trump Ally Reportedly Lied to Congress About Secret Back Channel to Russian Federation

39;Man of mystery' cooperates with Mueller in Russia probe

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. Former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation past year and is cooperating with the Mueller probe, was reportedly also at the meeting.

During an interview with the House Intelligence Committee last November, Prince confirmed that he met with Dmitriev in the Seychelles and that the two discussed U.S. -Russia relations, including trade.

Prince said it was a casual meeting that lasted no more than 30 minutes.

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, made a decision to visit NY late 2017, she told the committee in a closed-door interview, according to a CNN report at the time.

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffGOP strategist confronts ex-Trump staffer: "I'm sick of you guys making excuses for him" Shepard Smith goes after Trump for not condemning Russia in tweets Trump: Why didn't Obama 'do something about Russian meddling?' MORE (Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, had questioned earlier Thursday whether Prince had misled lawmakers last fall during his testimony about the meeting. "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".

While the political operative "vigorously denies the allegations", according to his lawyer, it remains unclear whether the Trump administration was aware of the charges given his visits to the White House, where he met with Jared Kushner and Stephen Bannon.

Obama's National Security Adviser Susan Rice explained during a September 2017 House Intelligence Committee interview why she unmasked Prince and members of Trump's transition team.

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A spokesman for the special counsel declined to comment.

The Post reported Nader has testified before a grand jury gathering evidence about discussions between the Trump transition team and emissaries of the Kremlin as part of Mueller's investigation. -Russian relations, according to people familiar with the matter.

Nader attended the meeting as well, and had helped organize it. Nader has always been an adviser to the UAE and had connections to several Trump associates.

Prince, who testified without an attorney present, says his comments about meetings with the UAE government, its advisers and delegations in the Seychelles cover Nader who worked for the Emiratis. Rep. K. Michael Conaway (R-Tex.), who is running the panel's Russian Federation probe, declined to comment Thursday about whether he would call Nader or Prince for an interview.

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.

Prince had no formal role with the Trump campaign or transition. 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. Devlin Barrett writes about national security and law enforcement for The Washington Post.

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