A Former Trump Adviser Met With a Russian Spy, and Another Trump Pal Held a Meeting to Set Up Contact With Moscow
The Trump-Russia scandal just keeps expanding, and tonight we have two interesting pieces to draw your attention to, dear members of the resistance.
First, Buzzfeed reports that former Trump adviser Carter Page actually met with a Russian spy in 2013.
NEW YORK — A former campaign adviser for Donald Trump met with and passed documents to a Russian intelligence operative in New York City in 2013.
The adviser, Carter Page, met with a Russian intelligence operative named Victor Podobnyy, who was later charged by the US government alongside two others for acting as unregistered agents of a foreign government. The charges, filed in January 2015, came after federal investigators busted a Russian spy ring that was seeking information on US sanctions as well as efforts to develop alternative energy. Page is an energy consultant.
A court filing by the US government contains a transcript of a recorded conversation in which Podobnyy speaks with one of the other men busted in the spy ring, Igor Sporyshev, about trying to recruit someone identified as “Male-1.” BuzzFeed News has confirmed that “Male-1” is Page.
Next, the Washington Post reports that Blackwater founder Erik Prince held a secret meeting in January in the Seychelles islands to set up a “back channel” line of communication between Moscow and the incoming Trump administration.
The United Arab Emirates arranged a secret meeting in January between Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a Russian close to President Vladimir Putin as part of an apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow and President-elect Donald Trump, according to U.S., European and Arab officials.
The meeting took place around Jan. 11 — nine days before Trump’s inauguration — in the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean, officials said. Though the full agenda remains unclear, the UAE agreed to broker the meeting in part to explore whether Russia could be persuaded to curtail its relationship with Iran, including in Syria, a Trump administration objective that would be likely to require major concessions to Moscow on U.S. sanctions.
Though Prince had no formal role with the Trump campaign or transition team, he presented himself as an unofficial envoy for Trump to high-ranking Emiratis involved in setting up his meeting with the Putin confidant, according to the officials, who did not identify the Russian.
Erik Prince, by the way, is the brother of Trump’s anti-public education education secretary Betsy DeVos.
I know, right? What are the odds?