Erik Prince, the founder of the Blackwater security firm who is also the brother of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, blasted the U.S. intelligence community in a statement released on Tuesday. Prince did not deny attending a meeting he reportedly had with Russian close to President Vladimir Putin, but did seek to cast doubt on the purpose of the meeting. "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 a statement that was sent to Business Insider.
The Washington Post published a story on Monday that claimed that Prince had sought the meeting in order to establish a back-channel contact for President Donald Trump with the Russian leader. A statement by a spokesman for Prince that was included in the Post's story said that the meeting in the Seychelles "had nothing to do with President Trump."
"Why is the so-called under-resourced intelligence community messing around with surveillance of American citizens when they should be hunting terrorists?" the spokesman said.
Prince excoriated the intelligence community in the wake of accusations that Barack Obama’s National Security Adviser Susan Rice had asked for the identities of U.S. citizens who had been uncovered in secret intelligence reports. Rice reportedly wanted to know the identities of Trump's transition team members who had had contacts with foreign officials. Prince said in his statement,
"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 added, "They are violating their oath to defend the constitution. They must be rooted out and fired."