Erik Prince, the founder of the mercenary company Blackwater, admitted that he met with an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin during then-President-elect Donald Trump's transition.
The Washington Post reported last week that Prince held a secret meeting with a Putin confidant in the Seychelles islands "as part of an apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow and President-elect Donald Trump."
"U.S. officials said the FBI has been scrutinizing the Seychelles meeting as part of a broader probe of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and alleged contacts between associates of Putin and Trump," the Post noted.
In an interview with the Financial Times that was published on Monday, Prince acknowledge that the meeting had occurred but insisted that it was "incidental."
Prince admitted an “incidental” meeting but denied anything of consequence was discussed, blaming “permanent seditious bureaucrats” in the US intelligence community for leaking the information.
Prince also said that the business his current company, Frontier Services Group, was doing with China did not include mercenary services.
But Peter Singer of the New America Foundation told the Financial Times that "Machiavelli would be amused, but not surprised" at Prince's collaboration with the Chinese government.
"It is fascinating to see someone, who was so quick to wrap himself in the flag whenever there was a controversy in the past, now go to work for a US adversary.” Singer said.