The infamous private security firm Blackwater earned billions before its founder Erik Prince left in 2010, but he told TPM on Tuesday that the multiple federal investigations into his business prevented him from making a massive personal fortune.
During an interview at a hotel in midtown Manhattan before he was set to appear on “The Daily Show,” Prince said money was one of the reasons he recently released a book rather than just riding off into the sunset. The book was also largely dedicated to dispelling what he sees as misconceptions about Blackwater.
“Look, I’m not going to starve, but the politics, the bureaucratic assault — I mean, look, we were spending $2.5 million, $2 million a month for two-and-a-half years. It spins the meter the wrong way quick,” Prince explained. “The legal fees from a blizzard of subpoenas … and discovery demands from every federal bureaucracy you could imagine. So, yeah, I didn’t make a whole lot of money out of the whole Blackwater experience at all.”
Prince added that the “nonsense” he dealt with “pales in comparison” to contractors who left the War on Terror with devastating physical injuries. He also said he was motivated to write a book to share his philosophies on military contracting and economics in general.
“I think it’s very important to bring some budget sanity back to how America spends its money on defense, on intelligence, on everything, including social programs. I want to take away the notion that it’s unpatriotic to cut the defense budget because there’s plenty of room to do it to make it more efficient,” said Prince. “You know, can the right and the left then cut the grand bargain to do social programs, reduce defense spending, just cut everything, and have the country live within its means and really unleash the entrepreneur?”
Prince went on to say he believes small business holds the key to the country’s economic success. However, though he has an economic platform, Prince insisted he’s not interested in a future run for public office.
“Zero point zero, zero, zero, zero, zero, zero percent chance,” Prince said of the possibility he’d enter the political realm. “I have zero interest in being involved in the politics of Washington. No, no, no, no, no, no. … I’m going to rebuild the nest egg. I am going to hopefully go on to do interesting, better things going forward and not be stuck in politics.”
Along with his book, Prince’s current endeavors include Frontier Resource Group, a company that is working with Chinese businesses to start projects in Africa. Prince predicted Frontier will become more active soon.
“There was a small announcement of an aviation company I bought being purchased by a Hong Kong company,” said Prince. “There’ll be some more announcements coming up in the next couple months.”