File photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit at the G20 Summit in Hamburg.

How some see Trump-Russia meeting as a setup

WASHINGTON — Here’s a pop quiz testing your skills at covert political scheming: If you were claiming to set up a super-secret meeting to deliver Russian intelligence to an American presidential campaign, would you:

A) Put it in writing, in an email;

B) Publish proof on social media of your attendance;

C) Keep your Facebook page completely open for another year, for anyone to peruse;

D) All of the above.

If you answered, “No,” to any of these questions, you’re no Rob Goldstone. He’s the globe-trotting, celebrity-schmoozing music impresario who set up a now-infamous encounter between the Trump campaign and a Russian lawyer, and made little effort to hide it.

His modus operandi was so overt, so obvious, that it’s provoked head-scratching and stoked conspiracy theories. Some of the president’s defenders say this had to be a setup, perhaps by Democrats.

Alternatively, others simply dismiss the whole thing as a non-story, for different reasons: there’s no evidence the meeting yielded anything, denials of any Kremlin ties, and indications that Democrats have also picked up political tips from foreigners.

But some friends of the British-born music agent were left with the impression he’d been helpful to Donald Trump’s election.

While Goldstone’s wide-open Facebook page usually shows pictures of celebrity acquaintances like Michael Jackson and Robert De Niro, and shots of his constant travels, it did get political last Nov. 8 — the night Trump was elected.

Goldstone posted: ”Pennsylvania about to be called which would give presidency to Trump.” In another, he showed a picture of himself, Trump, and a mutual friend captioned: ”The A-Team — headed to the White House.”

Some friends were annoyed.

One swore at Goldstone and posted the message: ”You helped this disaster happen when you know what an idiot (Trump) is. Please forget who I am. We should never have become friends.”

This was a few months after the now-notorious meeting Goldstone set up at Trump Tower involving Donald Trump Jr., campaign manager Paul Manafort, and presidential staffer-and-son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Goldstone marked a geotag for the visit and posted it on his Facebook page.

Email records show he presented the meeting as an opportunity to get information collected by the Russian government. He said the information was dirt on Hillary Clinton gathered in a bid to help Donald Trump, and sent his way via Russian prosecutor and it would be shared at Trump Tower by someone he called a Russian government lawyer.

The lawyer in question has denied links to the Kremlin; the Trump team says the meeting was a bust; and the president’s fans are dismissing the episode, alternatively, as a non-story, or evidence of a double-standard against Trump, or a Democratic setup.

But Donald Trump Jr. was excited because he replied to Goldstone: “I love it.”

An emerging theme on the right is that this was a setup. Some are pointing out that the Russian lawyer posted an anti-Trump social-media message last year, and appeared at a congressional hearing to watch Barack Obama’s Russia ambassador testify.

Just Posted

Canyon Ski Resort season wraps up Sunday

Central Alberta skiers and snowboarders only have a couple more days to… Continue reading

Future space crunch is feared, as no new schools for Red Deer are in the budget

Only local modernization will be at Father Lacombe Catholic School in Lacombe

A million dollars for Red Deer hospital is not nearly enough, says Mayor Veer

Mayor is concerned Red Deer hospital is still not on province’s five-year capital list

No drug treatment centre, or additional shelter beds for Red Deer

But Red Deer will get more affordable housing and sustained capital funding

Hit and run adjourned to April

Crash into Papa Baldy’s Pizza

WATCH: Hundreds come to Red Deer Rebels Fan Fest

The Red Deer Rebels met with legions of their of fans just… Continue reading

Supreme Court rules former Stephen Harper aide guilty of influence peddling

OTTAWA — Canada’s highest court has upheld an influence peddling conviction against… Continue reading

2 killed, dozen hurt in French supermarket hostage-taking

PARIS — An armed man took hostages in a supermarket in southern… Continue reading

READER PHOTO: Red Deer students celebrate Canadian courage at Juno Beach

Teenagers from Red Deer’s Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School are learning about… Continue reading

UN report: Loss of plants, animals making a lonelier planet

WASHINGTON — New United Nations scientific reports diagnose that Earth is getting… Continue reading

Excavator frees dolphins trapped by pack ice in Newfoundland harbour

HEARTS DELIGHT, N.L. — A pod of dolphins trapped by pack ice… Continue reading

Structure fire destroys home in Mirror

A house in Mirror is completely damaged due to an overnight structure… Continue reading

Trudeau warns senators not to thwart will of Canadians on marijuana bill

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is reminding senators that his government… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month