(CNN) - South Carolina Gov. Mark 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.
"As noted by the Department of Commerce, I attended a trade mission with the Department of Commerce last June," he said, in a statement issued by his office Thursday. "As the agenda notes, the mission was spent meeting with government and private business officials in both Brazil and Argentina. This trip was handled very professionally by the Department of Commerce, and I'm proud of their work there.
"However, while the purpose of this trip was an entirely professional and appropriate business development trip, I made a mistake while I was there in meeting with the woman who I was unfaithful to my wife with. That has raised some very legitimate concerns and questions, and as such I am going to reimburse the state for the full cost of the Argentina leg of this trip."
Sanford visited Argentina exactly one year ago as part of a taxpayer-funded South Carolina Department of Commerce trade mission - around the time he has said began an affair with "a dear, dear friend" who lives there.
Sanford's office said Wednesday 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.
–CNN's Rebecca Sinderbrand and Peter Hamby contributed to this report