, 24 tweets, 16 min read Read on Twitter
Come for Erik Prince's relationship with @Project_Veritas (he's trained them), stay for his snake oil interc.pt/2Jd7L3Q
@Project_Veritas Let's peel this Erik Prince story for the TL;TR Crowd

Erik Prince is of course known for Blackwater. But that was his first act, a distant memory and doesn't help us understand who is today and why is so dangerous 2/

@Project_Veritas Prince's meeting in Seychelles in Jan 2017 was a moment almost a decade in the making.

After he sold Blackwater + Obama Admin made clear he was not welcome, he left to UAE, effectively in exile 3/
@Project_Veritas There, he became close to defacto ruler Mohammed bin Zayed, selling a vision of a special forces and presidential guard to the Crown Prince.

And because of the great reporting of @MarkMazzettiNYT from 2010-2012 we learned that Prince ran a half billion $ enterprise for UAE 4/
@Project_Veritas @MarkMazzettiNYT It was a dream opportunity for Prince. For the first time he really was a commanding general of two (mercenary) armies.

But he blew it. 5/
@Project_Veritas @MarkMazzettiNYT Incompetence, greed, self-dealing, and a never ending effort to avoid ITAR regulations ran the secret armies in UAE and Somalia into the ground.

A cautionary tale, really, for any government listening to EP pitch a paramilitary strategy/war/product 6/
@Project_Veritas @MarkMazzettiNYT So, he's fired from a dream gig just as he looks to reinvent himself as a private equity manager. It will be a $500M fund making fortunes of overlooked + distressed assets in Africa!

Except, he can't get outside investors. He's become toxic in the UAE + he's a novice 7/
@Project_Veritas @MarkMazzettiNYT The fund Frontier Resource is funded with almost exclusively his own fortune, roughly $50M 8/
@Project_Veritas @MarkMazzettiNYT Quick interlude: Prince is not a billionaire. He is the son of a billionaire, and by any definition he is a very rich man. But he lives off of a trust fund, which his mother, Elsa, controls. She's the billionaire. He has a high cost of living. He needs to employment 8.1/
@Project_Veritas @MarkMazzettiNYT The fund struggles to get off the ground. Losing his UAE job hurt his finances. He's cash poor + struggling to pay his overhead.

Then, most of the fund's investments sink! 9/
@Project_Veritas @MarkMazzettiNYT But don't feel bad for Mr. Prince. He's a resourceful guy. A hell of a salesman. "He could sell you your own hat," says one of his former colleagues.

He goes from Middle East to China, and strikes it big! The man has a Midas Touch. $110M investment. Not shabby 10/
@Project_Veritas @MarkMazzettiNYT But Prince being Prince, he uses FSG cover to hawk paramilitary services in Africa + Middle East. He won't let the dream go.

(You can read that chapter here: theintercept.com/2016/04/11/bla… ) 11/
@Project_Veritas @MarkMazzettiNYT As CEO, FSG spends roughly $8.5M to purchase companies or services where Prince/FRG had financial interest. In some cases, only way to salvage fund investments.

In most cases, he didn't disclose his financial interest to the FSG board prior to contract. A Prince pattern. 12/
@Project_Veritas @MarkMazzettiNYT At FSG, the pattern emerges: defense services/weapons regulation problems (ITAR), self-dealing, secret mercenary proposals.

The man can't help himself. He has a vision: a total supply chain of paramilitary services. Hardware, soldiers, weapons, vehicles, surveillance, intel. 13/
@Project_Veritas @MarkMazzettiNYT It has been suggested to me, more than once, that Prince is chasing his father's legacy.

Edgar Prince built Prince Auto into a billion $ business. Famous for the light in car visors, he was a major political donor to Gerald Ford, also from Michigan. 14/
@Project_Veritas @MarkMazzettiNYT Erik Prince sees military services no different than automotive parts.

Alfred Sloan, one time CEO of GMC, is a Prince hero. Bought his auto parts suppliers, made GMC more profitable.

Prince has been doing this for war since Blackwater 15/
@Project_Veritas @MarkMazzettiNYT But, by late 2015, early 2016 it's becoming clear nobody wants to buy Prince's vision, or any of his services.

4 all the hype about Prince, former Navy SEAL, founder of Blackwater, the truth is less flattering. "He's never fired a shot in anger," is the cliche I hear often 16/
@Project_Veritas @MarkMazzettiNYT So come 2016, with the Presidential election beginning, Prince sees his next opportunity.

He hates Obama and he really hates HRC. Blames both for ruining his career working for USG.

And that is when things get interesting. 17/
@Project_Veritas @MarkMazzettiNYT The only thing Prince loves more than making a buck on conflict overseas is stirring up far-right politics in the US.

Wouldn't you know it? Prince + family have given a fortune to far-right conservative causes + politicians for years. The Prince family LOVES Mike Pence 18/
@Project_Veritas @MarkMazzettiNYT So who's surprised that in late 2015 or early 2016, Prince arranges for an ex JSOC sigint soldier (who helped catch Pablo Escobar!) to provide intel+ surveillance training to @JamesOKeefeIII @Project_Veritas ?

And, even less surprising: it doesn't go well. Ex operative quits 19/
@Project_Veritas @MarkMazzettiNYT @JamesOKeefeIII Prince gets behind Trump, working with buddy Steve Bannon to dunk of Hillary Clinton.

We know from Mueller report Prince pays to authenticate a cache of stolen emails he hopes are hers 20/
@Project_Veritas @MarkMazzettiNYT @JamesOKeefeIII We know, again from @MarkMazzettiNYT that Prince brings an Israeli peddling social media manipulation + MBZ courtier George Nader to @DonaldJTrumpJr at Trump Tower during summer 2016/campaign.

Can you see where this is going? 21/
@Project_Veritas @MarkMazzettiNYT @JamesOKeefeIII @DonaldJTrumpJr Prince spends $250K to help get DJT elected, works w/ fellow travelers to help defeat HRC.

In China, where he's still CEO of FSG, he tells people he's going to be Defense Secretary!

Prince is in pole-position 22/
@Project_Veritas @MarkMazzettiNYT @JamesOKeefeIII @DonaldJTrumpJr Trump wins. Bannon ascends. Prince backed the right horse.

8 years of Obama hell are over + Prince is back, baby!

Then, UAE + MBZ come calling again. All is forgiven. Prince sees (and seizes) the opportunity. 23/
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