Transcript: Erik Prince discussed trade, terrorism with Russian banker in Seychelles

Kirill Dmitriev chief executive officer of the Russian Direct Investment Fund attends a meeting of President Vladimir Putin with foreign investors in St. Petersburg Russia

The committee is one of three congressional panels investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible coordination with Trump's presidential campaign.

The Washington Post had reported in April that Prince, who is the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, met in January with a person close to Russian President Vladimir Putin for the goal of establishing a way for Trump and Putin to communicate privately. Prince's November 30 testimony in which he talked about a business trip to the Indian Ocean country of Seychelles to hold a summit with United Arab Emirates business partners. The Washington Post originally reported that Prince was acting on the Trump campaign's behalf at the meeting.

Prince insisted to the House committee he had not acted as a representative of the Trump administration during the meeting with the Emirati dignitaries, though he was close to Bannon and sent him unsolicited policy papers during the campaign.

The Seychelles meeting has been public knowledge since April, when its existence was first reported by The Washington Post. He said he had previously known those people. He spoke about a meeting he had in the Seychelles islands with a Russian national.

As the meeting was ending, someone suggested he meet with Kirill Dmitriev, a Russian banker who was in the area, according to the testimony.

Prince is best known for his role running Blackwater, which was hired to provide private security during the USA war with Iraq. They met and discussed oil and commodity prices and trade between Russian Federation and the United States, he testified.

"After the meeting, they mentioned a guy I should meet who was also in town to see them, a Kirill Dmitriev from Russia", Prince told members of the House committee, according to the transcript.

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"If Franklin Roosevelt can work with Joseph Stalin after the Ukraine terror starvation, after killing tens of millions of his own citizens, we can certainly at least cooperate with the Russians in a productive way to defeat the Islamic State", Prince said he told Dmitriev.

Prince said he knew Dmitriev was a Russian fund manager, but didn't realize that the Russian government controlled it and that it had been sanctioned by the US since 2015 due to Russia's actions in Ukraine.

Prince told the committee that Dmitriev expressed that he wished "trade would resume with the United States in a normal way".

When Prince objected to extending questioning for another 30 minutes, Schiff replied, "It's not up to you to decide how long the hearing goes on". It's 5:30. I haven't been home in a week.

When the committee's top Democrat, California Rep. Adam Schiff, asked Prince if anyone on the campaign indicated they were engaged in any discussions with the Russians through any channels, Prince responded, "Front side, back side, no side never got any indication of anything like that". Prince refused during the interview to identify those who he claimed told him that he had been unmasked.

Prince told reporters after his interview that the panel had wasted time and taxpayer money on a "fishing expedition".

While the Washington Post, which broke the news of the meeting, reported that Prince presented himself as an "unofficial envoy for Trump", Prince testified that the principal goal of his visit to the island nation was an invitation to meet with members of the United Arab Emirates' royal family, one of whom casually suggested he meet with Dmitriev for a drink.

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