Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein slams Trump surrogate over Russia-campaign links

'The truth might be innocuous, but let us get there'

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The Independent US

Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein has slammed Donald Trump's former spokesman for dismissing the ongoing investigation into Russian links to the election campaign.

Appearing on CNN, Trump surrogate Jason Miller said there has been "not one piece of evidence" linking the campaign to Russia.

He was asked specifically about a meeting between Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a Russian close to President Vladimir Putin, which US, European and Arab officials said was part of an apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow and then President-elect Trump.

In response, Mr Miller said: “Number one... Mr Prince had no role with the campaign, no role with the administration.”

He added: “If the fundamental point of this investigation is to get to some supposed coordination between the campaign and some foreign government, then immediately upon leaving that meeting, Mr. Prince would have had to have walked out, gotten into his Blackwater time machine, gone back months and then hatched some devious plot to influence the election."

He went on to add: "At some point here, this is just a wild goose chase."

Mr Bernstein then jumped in, saying: “Let me just add one thing to contradict that.

"I know beyond any doubt, from people who worked in the Trump campaign on national security areas, that indeed Erik Prince was a part of the campaign, did see president-elect Trump—“

He was then interrupted by Mr Miller, who asked: "Who said that?"

Mr Bernstein declined to name his source, saying: "I'm not gonna say who said it. But believe me, I think you have the ability, sir, to go find out."

Mr Miller said he never heard Mr Prince's name come up during the campaign.

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The legendary Watergate reporter, a persistent critic of Mr Trump, replied: "OK well I suggest you go back and talk to those who were involved in the national security area of the campaign and of the transition and you will find as I and many other journalists have that Erik Prince indeed had a role, talked to a number of people including the President-elect and indeed bragged about that role.

He added: "I think this idea that to cut what is really true out of the story in a defence way is hurting everybody's ability to find out what the truth is here.

"And the truth might be innocuous, but let us get there."