Okay I am soooo happy to report that I finally got my staging site up and running and pulling to the right databases and all that jazz. I have to say now that I'm done with the set up, everything makes sense but while going through it I really did feel pretty dumb. But I got it now.
So onto the main topic at hand, my staging site is staging.jonathanwhitecpa.com
I have tried to validate automatically and got the same error. "Could not retrieve extensions list. For assistance, please start by reviewing our article on troubleshooting"
I have already installed Wordfence pluging, ran the scans and deleted all suspected file issues.
Please help with the manual upload, the error I am getting is "Destination folder already exists. /home2/jpwhite/staging.jonathanwhitecpa.com/wp-content/themes/x/
Theme installation failed."