So back in January, 2017, Erik Prince (mercenary entrepreneur and Betsy DeVos’s brother) secretly met with a Russian oligarch and had an oh-so-off-the-record conversation. But, now, happily for us, the details of that meeting are coming to light as a result of Mueller’s ongoing investigation. According to a recent article in the Daily Beast, Revealed: What Erik Prince and Moscow’s Money Man Discussed in That Infamous Seychelles Meeting, by Betsy Woodruff and Erin Banco, the answer is both interesting and kind of disappointing. What happened is that the Russians made all sorts of suggestions for joint covert action against Islamic Terrorists. That’s pretty creepy given that Prince is among the world’s leading mercenary commanders and that he’s talked to Trump about creating a new, for-profit army to operate in the Middle East. But it is also tedious, say Woodruff and Banco, because it is the sort of thing the Russians are always suggesting, and no one takes them particularly seriously.
What is new, say the authors, is that they picked a back channel means — i.e., Prince — to make the suggestion. They note, “Evelyn Farkas, an Obama administration Pentagon official who focused on Eastern Europe and Russia, said the proposals in the memo aren’t unusual; in fact, they mirror proposals that Moscow makes regularly.” They add, “‘It’s nothing new,” she told The Daily Beast. “What is new is that they’re trying to do this through this weird backchannel.’”
So what does it all mean? Probably, conclude the authors, not a whole lot. It is just another case of the Russians seeing where they can find leverage in the Trumpian world.
But, there is something scary in that thought, all the same. If the Russians are flirting with Prince, then you have to think they have been busily attempting (and maybe succeeding) in going after a good many other Trumpsters as well.