June 24th, 2009
08:41 PM ET

Sanford took taxpayer-funded trip to Argentina last June

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/23/art.sanford1.gi.jpg caption="Sanford traveled to Brazil and Argentina last June."]

Peter Hamby
CNN Political Producer

Mark Sanford visited Argentina exactly one year ago as part of a taxpayer-funded South Carolina Department of Commerce trade mission, according to a copy of the trip itinerary obtained by CNN.

It's unknown if Sanford spent time with the woman during the trade mission, but the governor explained Wednesday that his relationship with a woman in Argentina "sparked into something more" than just a friendship "about a year ago." He said he has known the woman for about eight years.

Sanford's office said the trip, like other trade missions, was organized by the Department of Commerce, not by the governor.

The South American swing took Sanford and several commerce officials to Brazil and Argentina for one week in June 2008, beginning on June 21.

After spending three days in Brazil, the delegation arrived in Cordoba, Argentina on June 24 — one year ago to the day Sanford emotionally admitted an extramarital affair at the state house in Columbia.

The following day, the group traveled to Buenos Aires — the city Sanford went back to last week, during his mysterious absence — for the final two nights of the trip. Members of the delegation were scheduled to stay at the Hilton Buenos Aires, located in the city's Puerto Madero district.

While the delegation spent much of their time meeting with diplomats and business leaders, several hours each day were allotted for "personal time." The group returned to Columbia on the morning of June 28 after taking an overnight flight.

According to state expenditure reports, Sanford's out-state travel expenses with the Department of Commerce totaled $21, 487 for the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2008. Governors commonly travel out-of-state or abroad to stir up investment in their home states.

"All of the economic development trips taken by the governor are organized and run by the Department of Commerce," Sanford spokesman Joel Sawyer told CNN.

Sanford said in a press conference Wednesday that he footed the bill for his most recent trip to Buenos Aires. The governor said earlier in the day he had traveled to Argentina several times before.

Filed under: 360° Radar
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Father of the Year

    Congratulations to Sanford, father of the year... going to enjoy some time with his lover for father's day... I wonder if he thought of his children. Shame on you! That family is better off without him. And he said in his email that he did not need love 15 yrs ago... poor wife. Oh! not poor..... idiot wife! she is thinking of taking him back. All for convenience because this stupid wives (ie Hillary Clinton) are ready to rationalize whatever their husbands do just for the sake of a political career. Where is Lorena Bobbit? maye she should be invitied to give a lecture to these wives who believe their husbands do this because of stress or other stupid motives.

    June 25, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  2. Dr. Glenn W. Murphy

    If Governor Mark Sanford's wife had already asked him to leave their home so she could rethink their marriage, he had good reason to seek emotional and sexual relations with another partner. His mistake was to apologize for his actions.

    Glenn W. Murphy

    June 25, 2009 at 1:45 am |
  3. Terri

    Don't we have more important issues boiling over? If the man is a lech then so be it. Pay back the money to South Carolina you used for your extra curricular activities and get on with taking care of business. People are unemployed, uninsured and going hungry – N Korea wants to nuke us and the Middle East is exploding – Sanford had an affair. Let me weigh this...........hmmmm

    June 24, 2009 at 11:17 pm |
  4. Larry

    Obama, and his family take trips like that and say they will pay the $$ back; LMAO. Where's the brother gonna get that kind of $$, he just paid off his student loans and needs $$ for smokes.

    June 24, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  5. Reiss

    What you expect from a suit (aka) politician?

    June 24, 2009 at 10:06 pm |
  6. DawnMD

    He should not have given that Press Conference until he had time to rest from the trip.

    He gave TMI (Too Much Information). It was hard to watch.

    I think he should resign before all the dirt comes out.

    Please spare all of us the pain.

    Why do these politicians feel the need to spill their guts on T.V.

    I would have respected him more if he just said "I am a jerk; no more comments"

    June 24, 2009 at 9:53 pm |
  7. Laura

    Men who cheat are scum and women who sleep with married men are nothing but whores!

    June 24, 2009 at 9:52 pm |
  8. Bruce

    His office says the trip, like other trade missions, was organized by the Department of Commerce. How convenient!

    June 24, 2009 at 9:42 pm |
  9. Zoe

    You know, in Hong Kong, it seems it's legal for a wife to kill an adulterer with her bare hands!! How dumb is that unless he married an Amazonian.

    June 24, 2009 at 9:31 pm |
  10. Puzzled

    Que pasa con los hombres? Verdad!

    June 24, 2009 at 9:27 pm |