June 25th, 2009
05:26 PM ET

Sanford took taxpayer-funded trip to Argentina last June

Editor's Note: Sanford denied allegations Thursday that he had improperly taken a taxpayer-funded trip to Argentina a year ago, roughly the time he began an affair with a woman who lived there, but said he would still reimburse the state for all expenses related to his visit to that country.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/23/art.sanford1.gi.jpg]

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.

Sanford revealed Wednesday that he began an affair with "a dear, dear friend" from Argentina last year.

It's unknown if Sanford spent time with the woman the during the trade mission, but the governor explained Wednesday that his relationship with her "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 his extramarital affair at the state house in Columbia.

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Filed under: 360º Follow • Keeping Them Honest
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Karen

    Tax Payers of South Carolina.

    Key: South Carolina

    As long as this wasn't U.S. tax payers money, this ain't my problem because I don't live in South Carolina. This between the citizens of SC, Sanford, his wife and the mistress.

    The media is just being nosy.

    If this guys was smart, he should come clean with everything, give the media everything and they will quickly go away.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:23 am |
  2. janette

    This the same man that made a big stink about the President's
    stymulus package and flys all the way to Argentina at taxpayers
    expense to make a "booty call'.This is who you want in 2012??????

    June 26, 2009 at 1:30 am |
  3. Joe

    Why haven't Senators Lindsey Graham and Orin Hatch been on TV demanding the Governors resignation? They both were there with hammer to nail President Bill Clinton to the Cross. The good Governor must resign in order to project the Holier-than-Thou Hyprocritical Republican Party. You play , You pay!!!

    June 26, 2009 at 12:02 am |
  4. Sabrina in Las Vegas

    This reminds me of then governor Spitzer's Passover trip to Puerto Rico with his wife and daughters, being mixed with Ashley's arrival before the holiday...it is a power trip and thrill of not getting caught while doing something wrong that makes them do it.

    Power currupts absolutely...remember you are a shephard, don't fleece your sheep....protect them and guide them....God is watching.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:18 pm |
  5. Annie Kate

    If it wasn't for the hurt his wife and children are evidently feeling, then I would laugh at this story – another self righteous Republican hoisted on his own petard with zipper problems and taxpayer money questions. Its getting to be old news anymore – just another name to add to the ever-growing list.

    June 25, 2009 at 8:49 pm |
  6. Sam Hart

    This is a private affair it has no place in the news.
    Million of men "with untouched reputation " had affair, had adventure outside marriage, Will vote for law against having an affair, will support the church to be strict for this sort of behavior.

    But nothing will change we have to accept that there is NOTHING wrong with having an affair as long as it does not conduct to divorce ,

    Judge, minister, president, and other have been caught with an affair for some their life was ruin for other they got reelected as president and even the wife is now is foreign affair minister . Bravo Clinton !!!

    As long as the law, and the moral are against nature , they will not be obeying. Penalty, losing the job, losing the support of your wife, prison, death etc... nothing will change .
    They are no place in the news for this type of behavior

    June 25, 2009 at 6:50 pm |
  7. Lil Murray

    I travel several times a year from Florida to northern part of Virginia. Interstate-95 all through South Carolina is in horrible condition in comparison to the other four states. Anderson, it might be a good story for you to check into South Carolina's transportation funds. Obviously, there are none or maybe been misused.
    Thru all of the Governor's misconduct, it will be his four boys who will suffer the most–my heart goes out to them.

    June 25, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  8. Timo

    Anderson, I suggest that we send all our politicians through the eunuch procedure before we elect them. This will put a stop to all the sex scandals, and hopefully they get their brains were it should be. LOL

    June 25, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  9. Slim Midkiff

    Give it a break.Who really cares about the Gov. of South Carolina' tryst with someone in South America.And that goes for that little adnoidal Michael Jackson too.You people are getting worse than Fox News.They are jackals in wolfs clothing.You people are liberal posseurs.Phonies.

    June 25, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  10. JC- Los Angeles

    Mark Sanford, like so many politicians and executives, is a deplorable person.

    Taking taxpayer funded trips to China, Tibet, India, Thailand, Hong Kong, Tha Bahamas, Argentina and Aspen is beyond the pale.

    While hard working, ethical Americans do their best to compete in challenging times, Mr. Sanford has once again provided insights into the challenging lives of American leadership.

    June 25, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  11. Donna Wood, Lil' Tennessee

    O.k. there it is . He says he will pay that money back. That's telling you something right there. I love the way he put it though. " Even though he had not improperly taken the taxpayer's money?"
    You mean there is a proper way to take taxpayer money to fund an affair? O.K. i'M BEING A SMARTYPANTS! I couldn't help myself. He left the playing field wide open. Oh, no pun intended! Sorry!

    Donna Wood
    Lexington, Tennessee

    June 25, 2009 at 5:39 pm |