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Erik Prince. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Erik Prince — a former Navy SEAL who created the security firm Blackwater, which played a controversial role in the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — is back in the spotlight for his new position as chairman of a Hong Kong-based company called Frontier Services Group, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: According to the Post, there's a concern that Prince, who is of interest to special counsel Robert Mueller and has ties to the Trump administration, is "advancing the strategic agenda of the United States' largest rival."

What they're saying, per the Post:

  • A former U.S. intelligence official said that within the intelligence community and the Pentagon, "there was discomfort to begin with because [Prince] was courting the Chinese government at the same time as he was courting the American government ... He is way out of bounds.”
  • A spokesman for FSG: "Erik Prince is a proud American who would never seek to undermine the national interests. FSG ... aims to support infrastructure projects internationally to serve its clients' needs ... and does not support a political agenda."
  • Lawyers at Washington law firm Steptoe & Johnson warned Prince in a 2015 memo that the U.S. employees of FSG "should exercise utmost caution not to provide military advice or training ... that could be construed as defense services," to avoid legal problems.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Fall and winter COVID surge "unlikely" if people get vaccinated.
  2. Politics: School boards are the next political battleground.
  3. Vaccines: Pfizer begins application for full FDA vaccine approval — Moderna says its COVID booster shot shows promise against variants.
  4. Economy: U.S. adds just 266,000 jobs in April, far below expectations.
  5. World: Asia faces massive new COVID surgeIndia records its deadliest day of the pandemic.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Kevin McCarthy officially endorses Elise Stefanik to replace Liz Cheney

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) officially endorsed Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) to become the GOP's next House Republican conference chair during a Fox News appearance Sunday.

Why it matters: The GOP has been feuding internally over the fate of the current chair, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), because of her criticisms of former President Donald Trump, and her vote to impeach him for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Fauci: Vaccines could turn COVID-19 "surges" into "blips"

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told "Meet the Press" Sunday that if more Americans get vaccinated in accordance with the Biden administration's goals, COVID-19 surges may be replaced by "blips."

State of play: Last week President Joe Biden announced his goal to get 160 million Americans fully vaccinated by July 4, with at least 70% of Americans having at least one shot.