Erik Prince officially thinks private armies can solve everything
Prince, the founder of private security company Blackwater and a close ally to President Trump, has reportedly been rounding up support and funding to send up to 5,000 soldiers-for-hire to Venezuela. The privately funded troops would attempt to overthrow Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in favor of U.S.-backed opposition leader Juan Guaidó, four sources tell Reuters.
Prince has spent the last four months talking with “Trump supporters and wealthy Venezuelan exiles” in an attempt to get “investment and political support for such an operation,” the sources tell Reuters. It all falls in line with Prince’s past attempts to privatize other U.S. conflicts, though a spokesman for Guaidó says the Venezuelan opposition hadn’t discussed the idea with Prince.
A U.S. national security spokesman wouldn’t tell Reuters if Prince had told government officials about the plan, though a source said the White House would not support Prince’s reported proposal. Maduro’s government didn’t respond to a request for comment.
The Reuters report was published just after House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) discussed Prince in a live interview with The Washington Post’s Robert Costa. Schiff told Costa there was “very strong evidence that [Prince] willingly misled the committee” during interviews about his reported meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. And “later today,” Schiff said his committee will “be making a criminal referral to the Justice Department” regarding those supposed “false statements.”
Watch Schiff’s appearance below, and read more from Reuters here.
.@costareports asks is Erik Prince lied to House Intel Cmte. @RepAdamSchiff: “There is very strong evidence that he willingly misled the committee and made false statements to the committee and later today we’ll be making a criminal referral to the Justice Department.” pic.twitter.com/pZCBPQ7wUk
— CSPAN (@cspan) April 30, 2019
Read more: theweek.com