Prince testified that he was not representing the Trump team during their 30-minute conversation; that he couldn't "recall" if he knew Dmitriev represented a state-banked investment bank sanctioned by the US; and that he did not discuss sanctions or anything related to the incoming Trump administration with the banker. Dmitriev did, however, express "how much he wished trade would resume with the United States in a normal way".
He met with the committee voluntarily, and did not have an attorney with him.
Prince said he never told Bannon about meeting Dmitriev, and could not recall if he ever told Bannon about his meeting with MBZ.
Prince insisted to the House committee he had not acted as a representative of the Trump administration during the meeting with the Emirati dignitaries, though he was close to Bannon and sent him unsolicited policy papers during the campaign.
That meeting has drawn the attention of congressional committees looking into potentially improper contacts between the Trump campaign and transition team with Russians, and sparked questions about whether Prince may have been an unofficial envoy on behalf of Trump or his associates.
Prince said he Googled him to see his picture, learned he ran a Russian hedge fund, and looked no further into Dmitriev's connections to the Russian government.
Prince said he had met Trump just once, at a fundraiser, before he was elected president in November 2016.
Prince described the arrangement of his meeting with Dmitriev as informal, telling investigators that the real objective of his trip was to meet with Emirati officials to discuss terrorism in the area and "conceptual-only stuff" on mineral-related business. Those meetings were similarly brief, he said. The investigative outlet The Intercept first identified Russian banker Kirill Dmitriev as having met with Prince during the island visit.
Committee Democrats have characterized his answers as incomplete.
"On the details of this meeting, Prince was again less than forthcoming and sought to represent that his discussion with Dmitriev, which comprised a third of the time he was conducting meetings in the Seychelles, was merely coincidental", Schiff said in the statement.
"I didn't fly there to meet any Russian guy", Prince said.
When Prince objected to extending questioning for another 30 minutes, Schiff replied, "It's not up to you to decide how long the hearing goes on".
According to the newspaper, the UAE brokered the meeting "in part" to explore whether Russian Federation might be persuaded to back away from its relationship with Iran and Syria. The Post attributed its April story to U.S., European and Arab officials. But Prince declined to provide the committee with many specifics of his discussion with Bannon. "If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck".
While the Washington Post, which broke the news of the meeting, reported that Prince presented himself as an "unofficial envoy for Trump", Prince testified that the principal objective of his visit to the island nation was an invitation to meet with members of the United Arab Emirates' royal family, one of whom casually suggested he meet with Dmitriev for a drink.
"That comes back to my concern about, what is the community going to do about unlawful leaking and the political abuse of the intelligence apparatus that affects Americans?" he said. Prince suggested the committee instead focus on who in the intelligence community leaked the details of his January meeting to the Post.