October 15th, 2008
12:45 PM ET
11 years ago

Palin unaware of Russian energy meeting in Alaska

Palin did not know that Russian oil officials would be visiting her home state this week.

Palin did not know that Russian oil officials would be visiting her home state this week.

DOVER, New Hampshire (CNN) - The campaign of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin said the Alaska governor was unaware of a visit by Russian energy officials to Anchorage on Monday.

Eight high-level officials from Gazprom, Russia’s state-controlled energy conglomerate, traveled to Anchorage earlier this week to meet with the Alaska Department of Natural Resources and the chief executive of ConocoPhillips to discuss energy projects and the possibility of expanding into new markets.

The meeting on Alaskan soil comes at a time of chilly relations between Russia and the United States following Russia’s invasion of Georgia in August. Both Palin and John McCain have been critical of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on the campaign trail, and Palin raised eyebrows last month in an interview by saying that Putin “rears his head” by dispatching Russian jets into Alaska’s airspace.

Palin has argued that her state’s proximity to Russia, as well as trade missions between Alaska and Russia, have helped give her the foreign policy experience necessary to be Vice President. But the campaign said the governor did not know that the Gazprom delegation was meeting with the commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, who is a Palin appointee.

Asked if Palin supports Gazprom doing business in Alaska, an aide to the governor said that “Alaska state officials routinely meet with government representatives from energy companies around the world.”

“Alaska has been, and will remain, very selective about companies with whom they do business,” said Palin spokesperson Tracey Schmitt.

UPDATE: The commissioner of Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources, Tom Irwin, tells CNN he informed Palin’s chief of staff, Mike Nizich, about the meeting before it took place two days ago. Irwin did not know if Nizich had passed the information along to the governor.

Irwin told CNN that he exchanged emails with Palin on Wednesday about energy issues, but that neither of them mentioned the Gazprom meeting in their messages. Despite Palin's absence from the state, Irwin said “it remains business as normal, and the governor has stayed very involved in state activities and is still leading state government.”

He noted that Monday's meeting with the Russian officials actually took place in the governor’s conference room in the Atwood Building in Anchorage, which he said is a common practice for large meetings and only requires on-site approval by office staffers.

Irwin stressed that the meeting with the Russian delegation was simply “a presentation of what they do” and that there was no specific pitch made about any business interest in Alaska.

Watch: Palin on McCain's new economic plan


Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (220 Responses)
  1. Bruce

    Palin needs to stop her big mough attacks on others as she only brings shame on herself and her party.

    She stands at the ralles and acts like some teenager at a pep ralley in hight school calling the other team names. She is so dumb she may not really understand that the things she said could provoke a riot. But she does not care any negitive comments about her are just sexest or the evil media, or maybe it is the voice of REASON coming to take her away.

    October 15, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  2. John Smith

    It's agood thing that Sarah is not blond!

    October 15, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  3. President Barack Obama

    Lost In Translation .......
    Is this the person we want second in command....

    This was all a GIMMICK and it's LOUD & CLEAR and if you can't HEAR it or SEE it theres SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOU!!!!

    Barack Your Vote 08!!!!

    October 15, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  4. Phil, Ashburn, VA

    Clueless and dangerous. She is the worst thing I have ever seen. Go back to the hole.

    October 15, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  5. Robert

    Goes to show you how well Sarah Palin keeps track of things. She can't even keep up with own State's business dealings...and she's running for America's VP Office??

    October 15, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  6. Brandon from Ohio

    Just more of the same from Daily Scandal Palin. I just keep reminding myself that in less than 3 weeks we won't hear much about her anymore...can't wait.

    October 15, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  7. Joe

    Palin is so stupid...it probably takes her two hours to watch "60 Minutes"

    October 15, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  8. Lisa, IN

    Palin has no morals. She did exactly what McCain told her to do. Then she had the nerve to go on Rush Limbaugh's and say "I don't have anything to lose." Well Sarah, America has a lot to lose, and we won't gamble away our future with YOU.

    America 08
    Barack Obama & Joe Biden 08

    October 15, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  9. Dodo

    Palin's answering a direct question: I know nothing, I see nothing!!!

    I guess its too late for McCain to get rid of Palin.

    October 15, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  10. Tony

    TOTAL, COMPLETE, INCOMPETENT IMBECILE!

    October 15, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  11. Elizabeth - Texas - Former Republican

    Palin needs to tell the American People about the Alaska Independence Party . The First Dude was a member and Palin has a speech she gave supporting them. CNN needs ot show the world what they stand for.

    Palin is NOT qualified to be VP. I bet she couldn't get elected Governor or even Mayor anywhere in the USA. I bet her approval rating has dropped.

    I would love to see Barack campaign in Alaska for 2 or 3 days.

    October 15, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  12. Terry

    I bet Sarah Palin has the Alaska Department of Natural Resources guy fired. She will put Todd Palin on that right away.

    As for the Jesse Jackson Story: I do not believe it. We need to see the entire tape and not sound bites.

    October 15, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  13. Irma in North Carolina

    Talk about being out of touch. Sarah is too busy holding hate Rallys and attacking the other party. America if John gets to the white house you better pray hard that nothing happens to him in those 4 years. Then we would have Sarah in there and God only knows what she would do and it is very scary. So if you want to live in fear for the next four years go ahead and vote for those two. Other wise vote for Obama iand you wont have to live in fear.

    October 15, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  14. Amazed

    This just keeps getting worse. Shame on McCain and his campaign people.

    Go home Sarah.

    October 15, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  15. C Spurgeon

    Who cares? Just can't wait for election to be done so we can go on to other imprtant things. Go Obama...

    October 15, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  16. Fed up!

    Sarah Palin don't know anything. It's always, I get back with you or talking off the subject. This woman is not ready to lead and I feel for the Americans who think she is. You all will regret the day she's in office and start screwing up everything. You need to measure your pros and cons and with this lady – all cons. Everytime she opens her mouth a lie comes out. She abused her power in Alaska and you think I want her in office doing the same thing. You better think about it when you go to vote.

    October 15, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  17. Christine CT

    All that executive experience, unaware of what's going on in her home state? "Drill baby drill"'s cheerleader wasn't on top of this?
    This goes right along with the blunder where she thought her supporter's chants were protesters and she hit them with a so-called "zinger".
    This is frightening. As the election approaches, I sincerely hope that people will use their sound judgment and vote for stability, leadership, intelligence, and tolerance.
    Obama 08

    October 15, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  18. ines

    Can't help but think of Tina Fey's parody of Palin dealing with Russians. 'Every morning we wake up to see if there are any Russians wandering around. Then it's our duty to go ask them 'Hey what are you doing her?' If they don't have a good reason, we say 'Shooo – you get back over there'.

    It is about the same thing Palin said here! If it weren't so incredibly sad, it would be hilarious.

    October 15, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  19. katiec

    Please CNN. Print my comment about our concern and
    worry about Jack. This may be the only way fellow bloggers
    know that many of us care and want him back. Know is
    unrelated to subject, but since being totally ignored don't
    know where else to go.
    Thank you

    October 15, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  20. curt

    Maybe she would have know if she were not so focused on Bill Ayers

    October 15, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  21. Sherri

    Unqualified. The proof is in the ignorance. Sad, sad, sad.

    October 15, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  22. Red

    CNN, stop playing these "gotcha"games with Palin!

    Just because she said Alaska was America's front line when "Putin rears his head" and flies to the US, and she claims to be an expert on enrgy (read: oil) policy doesn't mean she should be aware of Russian visitors.

    She's not aware of the outcome of her own ethics investigation, afterall....

    October 15, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  23. Obamalism

    Foreign Officials visit states everyday and rarely is the governor..especially one campaigning for VP made aware of it.

    When a deal is to be struck, however, then she'll there.

    Obamatards and CNN are fishing....

    October 15, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  24. Ivan

    Amazing.... well actually not comin from Palin...

    This is a free country...but it takes a lot of guts to stand in the election booth and actually voting for the republican Party...

    it scares the hell out of me just imagining this lady as the commander in chief...

    October 15, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  25. Justina

    Hey, I wanted to read article on "Obama takes heat for Jackson Comment" and it's linked to Sara Palin article? How low can CNN be? You guys are so biased. It makes me sick.

    October 15, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
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