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Erik Prince says he discussed US-Russia relations with Russian banker in Seychelles

  • Erik Prince, the billionaire founder of Blackwater Worldwide, confirmed Thursday that he met with the CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund in a secret January meeting in the Seychelles.
  • The two discussed U.S.-Russia relations, including trade and joint efforts to combat Islamic terror, he said.
  • Prince said that he didn't discuss sanctions with Dmitriev, or the prospect of doing business with him.
Erik Prince, founder of Blackwater USA, arrives to appear before a closed door session of the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill, November 30, 2017 in Washington, DC.
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Erik Prince, founder of Blackwater USA, arrives to appear before a closed door session of the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill, November 30, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Erik Prince, the billionaire founder of Blackwater Worldwide, confirmed Thursday that he met with a Russian banker with close ties to the Kremlin in a secret January meeting in the Seychelles.

Prince and Kirill Dmitriev, the CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, discussed U.S.-Russia relations, including trade and joint efforts to combat Islamic terror, he said.

The RDIF is Russia's $10 billion sovereign wealth fund.

"I remember him saying how much he wished trade would resume with the United States in a normal way," Prince told the House Intel committee, according to a transcript of Prince's interview released Wednesday.

He said that he had to search Google for a photo of Dmitriev in order to find him in a bar.

The meeting in the Seychelles was originally reported by The Washington Post. The investigative outlet The Intercept first identified Russian banker Kirill Dmitriev as having met with Prince during the island visit.

Prince said that he didn't discuss sanctions with Dmitriev, or the prospect of doing business with him.

Prince again denied that he was acting as a surrogate of the Trump campaign when he met with Dmitriev in the Seychelles. The Washington Post originally reported that Prince was acting on the Trump campaign's behalf at the meeting.

Click here to read the full interview transcript.

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