An Emirati adviser, George Nader, has agreed to co-operate with the special counsel’s probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The UAE official reportedly had ties with senior White House adviser and President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and former Chief Strategist Steve Bannon during the presidential transition.
Nader, who was particularly questioned about the meeting in Seychelles with Trump’s informal adviser and U.S. businessman Erik Prince, reportedly gave his testimony to the grand jury last week.
Apart from the reasons for the Seychelles meeting, the FBI is also looking to confirm whether Emirati money was funneled into the U.S. during Trump’s presidential campaign.
According to reports, Nader advises the crown prince of United Arab Emirates, Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan. He reportedly convened the Seychelles meeting on orders of the prince. The meeting brought together Prince, the and Kirill Dmitriev, an investor closely tied to the Russian president, Vladmir Putin.
The meeting’s purpose is still unclear. During a sworn testimony, Prince claimed the get-together was nothing more than a friendly encounter.
“We chatted on topics ranging from oil and commodity prices to how much his country wished for resumption of normal trade relations” with the United States, said the Black Water founder. “I remember telling him that if Franklin Roosevelt could work with Joseph Stalin to defeat Nazi fascism, then certainly Donald Trump could work with Vladimir Putin to defeat Islamic fascism.”
Nader’s co-operation and testimony is expected to shed some more light on this puzzle piece of a meeting that came under the FBI’s radar in the later days of the Obama administration.
However, it is yet to be seen if the Emirati adviser’s testimony will ultimately help Mueller’s basic investigation: Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election.
Nader was reportedly on his way to Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida when he was first served with a search warrant and grand jury subpoena shortly after landing in the U.S. capitol.
Since then, he has been questioned several times about meetings in New York during the transition, the Seychelles meeting and meetings in the White House with Kushner and Bannon.
The Seychelles meeting, however, isn’t the only time the Emirati Prince has met with Trump administration suspiciously. Immediately after the 2016 presidential election, the crown prince breached protocol by holding a meeting at Trump Tower in Manhattan without informing the Obama administration about his visit.
The Russian adviser, Dmitriev, met with Anthony Scaramucci, then an informal Trump adviser, at the 2017 World Economic Forum in Davos shortly after the Seychelles meeting. Post meeting, Scaramucci criticized Obama administration and insisted that under Trump’s rule the U.S. and Russia can find common ground.
“We have to make the world safer, we have to eliminate from the world the radical Islamic terrorism, and we have to figure out the ways to grow the wages for working class-families, Whether in Russia or in the U.S., I think there are a lot of common objectives,” said the now ex- communications director.
Nader’s testimony can prove to be the missing link behind all these meeting and could prove vital in the fast moving Russian investigation.
Thumbnail/ Banner Credits: Reuters, Yuri Gripas