A secret meeting between the United #Arab Emirates, Blackwater founder #Erik Prince and a Russian with close ties to President #Vladi­mir Putin was arranged in January according to both European, Arab and US officials. They say that the purpose of the meeting was to establish a back channel so that Donald Trump and Putin's Moscow's administration could talk.

The alleged meeting happened around January 11, which was nine days before Trump’s inauguration and it was located in the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean, those officials claimed. The details of the agenda of the meeting are hazy, but the UAE stepped into facilitate and broker the meeting to explore, amongst other possible reasons, if #Russia would agree to diminishing and eradicating its relationship with Iran, including in Syria.

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This was a Trump administration strategic aim that would then facilitate key dispensations to Moscow regarding the US sanctions that were imposed by Obama.

Thought the Russian wasn't identified by the officials, they did say that Prince had no formal role with the Trump campaign and merely presented himself as an unofficial envoy to the high-ranking Emirates officials involved in managing the secretive meeting with Russia. Erik Prince was, however seen at the Trump transition offices in New York in December 2016, when speculation about Trump-Russian alliances and interference wasn’t quite as heightened as it is now.

Prince gave money to Trump

Not unsurprisingly, Prince was a keen supporter of Trump and gave $250,000 to Trump’s campaign, a pro-Trump super PAC led by GOP mega-donor Rebekah Mercer and also the national party, this as records show.

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Of course, he has financial and business ties with Trump's inner circle, including #Stephen Bannon, Trump's most senior advisor and the architect of – as many say – Trump's presidential persona and playbook. Also, Prince's sister is the educational secretary #Betsy Devos, who was sworn in in February amongst remonstrance from Democrats who disagree with her take on private education and funding private schools, which then causes public schools to miss out. DeVos also has a religious bent that also causes liberals much pain.

The United States officials said the #FBI has been studying and dissecting the Seychelles meeting as part of its larger investigation into Russian medalling in the 2016 election, which then caused Trump to win. At the time there were alleged communications between #Putin and Trump, who both vehemently deny the charges today.

#the white house is not a keen fan of the Russian-Trump narrative either, and are distancing themselves through the press secretary Sean Spicer.

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“We are not aware of any meetings, and Erik Prince had no role in the transition,” Spicer told the press this week. The Seychelles encounter, which an official claimed lasted for two days, adds to an escalating network of potential connections and communications between Americans who have ties to Trump and Russia. The White house has not wanted to admit that these associations are real, that is until the press has illuminated them for the American public. #The Fbi