Blackwater founder Erik Prince arranged a secret meeting with a Russian close to President Vladimir Putin on Donald Trump's behalf in early January, according to a report from The Washington Post.
The meeting reportedly took place in the Seychelles islands, which are located in the Indian Ocean.
The United Arab Emirates agreed to arrange the meeting in an effort to see whether Russia would be willing to diplomatically walk away from Iran, The Post reports.
Blackwater’s founder secretly met a Putin confidant in the Seychelles to form a back channel between Moscow, Trump https://t.co/JA9dHSTiAX— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) April 3, 2017
The Post reports that the FBI investigated the Seychelles meeting as part of its larger probe into Trump-Russia connections. At the time of the meeting, the UAE reportedly believe Prince had the blessing of the Trump administration and was acting as an official representative.
Prince is just the latest in an expanding web of Americans with ties to both Trump and Russian interests.
Prince was a supporter of Trump during his presidential campaign and is the brother of Education Secretary Betsy Devos. The Post reports that Prince was seen in Trump's transition offices in December, but Sean Spicer has denied him having any role in the transition.
“We are not aware of any meetings and Erik Prince had no role in the transition,” Spicer told The Post.
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