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In the past week, as controversy mounted over the meeting between the Donald Trump campaign and a lawyer who they were told represented the Russian government, one figure has kept quiet: Rob Goldstone, who sent the initial email setting up the meeting.

That hasn't changed yet, but his name is being cited more and more. For example, Scott Balber, the lawyer for the Agalarov family who Goldstone worked for, has argued that the story falls apart because him being used as an intermediary doesn't really make sense. On Sunday morning's “A.M. Joy” on MSNBC, there was a similar but different case made.

Fred Fleitz, a former CIA analyst, appeared on the show as the conservative counterpoint to fellow former intelligence officer Malcolm Nance. Trying to push the narrative that Goldstone is a weak point in the narrative, he held up photos of the publicist that are available online.

“The question is whether this person would have been entrusted by the Russian government — here he is posing as Miss Universe — whether the Russian government would trust someone like this with sensitive information about efforts to undermine the U.S. election,” said Fleitz. “Here he is posted as a pirate,” he added, holding up the matching photo each time.

“The question is, this guy might have been a flake and a friend of the family, but the Russian government would never have used this guy, or trusted him, with a sensitive intelligence operation; that simply didn't happen.”

Reid then threw to Nance for his response. “I'll give Fred an assist here: He's right, Rob Goldstone isn't the kind of person they'd have used as an asset,” he began. “He's not a player in this game, he's merely a communications conduit.” In other words, Nance was saying Goldstone would only be used to do what he actually did.

But he added, “Anyone who thinks Rob Goldstone is the main character? You're wrong.” Fleitz came back by referring to Goldstone as “Mr. Pirate” only for Reid to counter that nobody is accusing Goldstone of knowingly acting as a Russian spy. Fleitz, talking over Reid, said he had become subject to “a rigged interview.”

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