When news broke this week of Don Jr. and his meeting regarding "Russian adoption", a new and unusual character entered the stage: Rob Goldstone.
As Daniel Dale of the Toronto Star noted on Twitter, this role could not have been cast any more clearly. Was this the 400lb guy in the basement that we had been looking for ever since Trump joked about him being the hacker of the election?
When I learned on Monday (7/10) that Goldstone's Facebook profile was public, I decided to check it out to see if it still was. And it was, and still is. Which seems like it would be the first thing his lawyer would advise him to lock down, especially when he's checking into Trump tower on Facebook on the day of the now infamous meeting...
Beyond this check-in, I decided to scroll through 4 years all the way back to the Miss Universe competition in Moscow to see what, if anything, interesting might come up.
On surface level, Goldstone's profile is similar to one that you might see a lot on Facebook. One of those people you might be casually aquatinted with that annoys you and you end up unfollowing at some point. The "over-sharer" with lots of food pictures that never look appetizing, Snapchat filtered selfies and endless travel posts that makes you wonder if they ever work. Ok, let's be honest, you're just a little jealous of that person.
Goldstone comes off like a jet-setting goofball, certainly not someone who should be involved in the strategy of a takedown of a major world democracy.
He also doesn't seem like the 400lb hacker in the basement that Trump referred to. What hacker would dwell on the content of their spam email? Bummer, no emails from the Prince of Nigeria today...sad!
Pretty sure this is the closest he ever got to becoming an actual spy...
In terms of the election, there were some interesting posts during Trump's campaign that are worth noting.
Goldstone, officially, manages Emin, a Russian pop singer and son of Russian oligarch, Aras Agalarov, who is closely connected to Putin and the Russian government. Goldstone promoted Emin's music video which features a cameo by Trump and called him "President" on the day that Trump announced his presidency. Emin himself also posts about it (Goldstone shares in his post).
Here are Goldstone's thoughts during a Republican Primary debate. This was well before the Don Jr. meeting but as you can see, he's already very pro Donald Trump.
He also happened to be in London for the Brexit vote, and mentioned Donald Trump in his post about it while there. As many have said in the intelligence community, there is no such thing as a coincidence.
Goldstone's post celebrating Trump's win was worth noting not simply because he's celebrating the win. Given Emin's family connections, to me, this is especially interesting. Note where Trump is positioned in the photo compared to Emin. It's clear who Goldstone thinks the real boss is here.
Now, let's travel back in time to the Miss Universe competition. The date of the competition, held in the venue owned be Enim's family, was November 9, 2013.
What's unusual is that for Goldstone, who is a notorious over-sharer, I couldn't find an incredible amount of posts about the Miss Universe competition. There were definitely some, but not to the same degree of over-sharing that you'd normally see from him.
In terms of Trump, these are the most notable posts from that time, and they occurred after the event.
Goldstone, posting one of Trump's tweets in which he's going out of his way to compliment Emin three days after the competition:
In between the competition and this next post, Trump did a cameo in Emin's music video. Here's Goldstone posting another Trump tweet about that video.
The next Trump-related post comes in February 2014, when Goldstone posts about Ivanka visiting Emin - who is allegedly scouting out a location for the future Trump Tower. Mother Jones has an excellent piece about this photo in particular that can be found here.
Moving forward to March 2014, the next big Trump/Emin clash is the WGC (World Golf Championship) at Trump National Golf Club Doral Miami from March 6-9, 2014. Emin was of course invited to perform at the big event.
Here's Emin with Ivanka and Donald at the tournament. Seems like Trump's love for red hats goes back to before the campaign...
And oh hey, Timbaland was there, too!
Speaking of "there's no such thing as a coincidence" in the intelligence world, look who got to meet Mark Zuckerberg's sister, Randi Zuckerberg, while they were in the US for the tournament. Nothing to see here! Thumbs up to data being used properly, right? 😉
And that's it in terms of the Miss Universe timeline from Goldstone's profile.
Another interesting post later on in 2015, was from Aras Agalarov's birthday party (Emin's father). Robert DeNiro went to Moscow to make an appearance. I know celebrities are paid money for things like this, but I still found it worth noting. With Trump voicing some sentiments of the anti-vax movement along with Robert DeNiro, I wonder if there might be a connection there. But that's probably a stretch at this point. Let's just put a placeholder here for now.
So what's to make of this Goldstone guy if he isn't this perfectly cast "400lb hacker in a basement"?
Even with all of his outlandish behavior and goofiness...
...I'd say that the one quality that he most likely has that Emin and his family are looking for is one that we've heard a lot about. Loyalty. He most likely does what he's told without asking questions. He's unassuming, well-connected and appears to be well-liked by the people he socializes with.
In Disney movies, every villain needs their charming and loyal sidekick to help make their wrong seem more right. That's who Rob Goldstone is in this story.
Or we can scratch all theories and just blame the entire 2016 election hacking on Kathy Griffin.
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