Blackwater founder who reportedly had secret meeting with Russian official releases statement blasting intelligence community

Erik PrinceAP Photos/Susan WalshBlackwater USA founder Erik Prince testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2007.

Erik Prince, the Blackwater founder who reportedly met with a Russian close to President Vladimir Putin to create a communication back-channel between then-President-elect Donald Trump and Russia, blasted the intelligence community in a statement Tuesday.

Prince attended a secret meeting in the Seychelles islands days before Trump’s inauguration to discuss establishing the back-channel, The Washington Post reported Monday.

In his statement Tuesday, Prince didn’t deny attending the meeting, but still attempted to cast doubt on its supposed purpose.

“If the politically fabricated delusion of President-elect Trump and President Putin’s coordination was true, why would anyone need to meet me anyway?” Prince said in the statement, which was sent to Business Insider.

Trump has been facing accusations that some of his associates colluded with Russian officials to interfere swing the 2016 presidential election in his favour.

Prince also blasted the intelligence community amid reports that former National Security Adviser Susan Rice “unmasked” US citizens in intelligence reports. Rice reportedly tried to learn the identities of officials on Trump’s transition team whose conversations with foreign officials may have been incidentally collected during routine intelligence-gathering operations.

“This proves once again the disastrous folly of allowing permanent seditious bureaucrats to be empowered with intelligence gathering tools with which they cannot be trusted to defend America,” Prince said in the statement. “They are violating their oath to defend the constitution. They must be rooted out and fired.”

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