In Trump-Russia probe, what's with that meeting in the Seychelles?

The story baffled some Republicans who have been following the Trump-Russia affair, for two reasons. One, the core question of the investigation is whether the Trump campaign and Russia colluded to influence the 2016 election. The Seychelles meeting took place on January 11, 2017, more than two months after the election. One thing that is certain is that the participants were not colluding to influence the 2016 election.

Prince himself wondered about that when he met with the House committee. “Here’s what I don’t understand about why I’m here,” he told the Republicans and Democrats who had gathered to question him. “If there’s all this rightful concern if there was actual collusion between the campaign and the Russian government, this meeting didn’t happen until almost two months — more than two months — after the election. So if there was all this collusion, why would there even need to be any other follow up meetings? So I don’t get that, timeline-wise.”

The second reason Republicans were baffled is that even if Prince were representing the Trump transition, and even if he were trying to establish a back channel with the Russians — two points Prince vehemently denies — there would be nothing illegal or improper about the incoming Trump administration setting up a channel, back or otherwise, to speak to a foreign country, including Russia.