Erik Prince, the founder of security firm Blackwater and the brother of Donald Trump’s Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, secretly met with a close representative for Russian President Vladimir Putin during the Trump transition period in January. This bombshell new report from the Washington Post raises further questions about potential ties between DeVos and the Kremlin, which Palmer Report first documented nearly two months ago.
Prince held a secret offshore meeting with the Putin rep just nine days before Donald Trump’s inauguration, by which time Trump had already publicly announced Prince’s sister DeVos as his Education Secretary nominee. The Post is characterizing its own report as a “secret Seychelles meeting to establish Trump-Putin back channel,” though in that same story, Prince is quoted as denying that the meeting had anything to do with Trump.
Back on February 11th, Palmer Report first reported that the private email server inside Trump Tower, which had been set up almost exclusively to communicate with a Russian bank, also kept a private channel open to a Michigan based health care company called Spectrum Health. Betsy DeVos and her husband Dick DeVos essentially control Spectrum Health, with two DeVos family members on its board of directors (link). Then on March 9th, CNN reported that the FBI was still actively investigating that same Trump Tower email server (link). On March 20th, FBI Director James Comey publicly confirmed during House Intelligence Committee hearings that his agency is in fact investigating the Trump campaign and Russia for election meddling, though Comey did not mention the server.
So this latest Washington Post report about Betsy DeVos’ brother meeting with a Vladimir Putin rep during the Trump transition period (link) is not the first time in this election cycle that DeVos and the Kremlin have found themselves connected with regard to Donald Trump. As always, we’ll keep digging. Contribute to Palmer Report
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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report