White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner’s longtime friend, Richard Gerson, has become a person of interest to Special Counsel Robert Mueller due to Gerson’s possible involvement in two meetings with Trump emissaries and foreign officials, according to a Friday NBC report.
Gerson was reportedly in the Seychelles in January 2017, near the time that Erik Prince met with officials from Russia and the United Arab Emirates, including Prince Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan. Gerson himself reportedly met with Prince Mohamed and communicated with businessman George Nader, a cooperating witness in Mueller’s investigation, who initially set up the Seychelles meeting.
A Gerson spokesman did not address the meetings with Prince Mohamed or communication with Nader, telling NBC only that Gerson was in the Seychelles for vacation and left before the Erik Prince meeting.
A month before that, Gerson reportedly met Nader when he attended a secret meeting at the Four Seasons in New York with Prince Mohamed, Kushner, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, former White House adviser Steve Bannon and the U.A.E.’s ambassador to the U.S. Per NBC, The Obama administration only learned about the meeting after the fact, as the U.A.E. had broken protocol and not told the President that the prince was entering the country.
A spokesman for Gerson said that he was only at the Four Seasons to escort former British Prime Minister Tony Blair to the meeting to give a talk on Israeli-Palestinian peace.
According to an unnamed official, the Senate Intelligence Committee has also taken an interest in Gerson’s presence at these two meetings.
Per NBC, Mueller’s interest in Gerson lends further credence to the idea that the special prosecutor is scrutinizing Trump associates’ ties to the U.A.E., which counterintelligence officials have reportedly been investigating since before Mueller’s appointment.