June 25th, 2009
08:49 AM ET
9 years ago

Sanford took taxpayer-funded trip to Argentina last June

Sanford traveled to Brazil and Argentina last June.

Sanford traveled to Brazil and Argentina last June.

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - 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.

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: Mark Sanford
soundoff (93 Responses)
  1. Chipster

    "While the delegation spent much of their time meeting with diplomats and business leaders,....."

    Sounds work-related to me. "Personal time" is exactly that. Move on, nothing to see here.

    June 25, 2009 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  2. Ralph

    You people at CNN are really pathetic, not as bad as some of the other liberal, left leaning media outlets but bad none the less. Your headline that the governor took his trip to Argentina at taxpayer expense clearly implies that the taxpayers paid for his jaunt this past week. Its not until one reads the full article that you explain that this was a trip that he took last year while on a trade mission. Shame on you CNN. Shame on you.

    June 25, 2009 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  3. David

    Yep, another fine example from the "party of family values" right? Hopefully Americans, and especially those who call themselves Republicans, will now began to look beyond those stupid party labels. It's time to demand accountability, integrity, and honesty from our leaders. Especially since they get paid over $150,000 per year and have great health care insurance, yet seem uncaring about solving national problems in a meaningful way.

    June 25, 2009 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  4. Michigan

    How long until he resigns? I give it a week.

    June 25, 2009 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  5. jaye

    The plot thickens..........
    So, once again the conservative republicans are caught lying and cheating.... and using taxpayer money for their own personal use.
    They make me sick.

    June 25, 2009 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  6. Jon from: S.Carolina

    Another Repub bites the dust. Now that my home state sees that the GOP is no good we can go blue in 2012. Sanford needs to resign, first ms. South Carolina now this.

    June 25, 2009 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  7. Brad

    Truly shocking! Time for impeachment!

    June 25, 2009 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  8. JJ Jones

    He's a goner

    June 25, 2009 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  9. melvin

    another GOP hypocrite!!!!!
    All that talk about wasteful spending and now what
    at least Obama is trying to fix the economy
    while Sanford spend tax dollars on an Argentine "oil change"
    pretty lame South Carolina please come and see the light

    June 25, 2009 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  10. jim

    He voted to impeach Clinton on moral grounds – look at him now.

    It makes me so made that these losers took the time to impeach Clinton when they are just as bad, if not worst!

    But what makes me really mad is nothing was done to impeach the nightmare George Bush after he trashed our nation.

    What has America become? So Sad

    June 25, 2009 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  11. T

    Having an affair can be forgiving, however turning his back on his
    kids on Fathers Day and his State is not forgiving. He needs to resign
    and get help.

    June 25, 2009 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  12. Boyd Stagmer

    Mark Sanford should immediately resign from Governor of South Carolina. He has not only betrayed his wife and family, but he has lied to the people of South Carolina. How is it possible for South Carolinians to trust a Chief Ececutive who has lied? If he resists resigning, the Legislature should start impeachment proceedings at once.

    June 25, 2009 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  13. Joe

    You gotta love these clowns that took the "moral highroad" during the Clinton/Lewinsky affair. Be careful throwing those stones! Your tax dollars hard at work

    June 25, 2009 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  14. Brian0901

    It keeps getting better

    June 25, 2009 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  15. Enough Already!!!!

    Please CNN No more news Regarding Sanford...... He is no Hero!!!

    June 25, 2009 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  16. Former Republican firmly supporting Obama

    Gov. Sanford should resign! He has no credibility and in the past he himself called on politicians in his situation to resign. Sanford is just representative of the pervasive hypocrisy and transparent double-standards in the GOP. They are a bunch of moralizing, self-righteous hypocrites!

    June 25, 2009 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  17. Marilyn, Powell Ohio

    Maybe now the GOP can quit complaining about President Obama having a date night in the good old USA with his wife. What a bunch of "family value" hypocrites. Sanford should resign due to the fact he seems just a little stupid and not capable of running a state. I wonder if he wants to take back his criticism of former President Bill Clinton? When the shoe is on the other foot...............

    June 25, 2009 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  18. W. Art

    This is unbelievable...using tax payers money to get his "groove" on. If that lady had an ounce of sense, she would see he didn't care enough to spend his own money to see her. Then he was gonna talk tough about not accepting stimulus money.

    He just got caught in his own hole. This is just a shame. These folk with these holier than thou attitude and doing the same thing at the time they are "squawking" at someone else.

    This lady should be ashamed as well...there is no way she didn't know he was married. May she be aware that one day she'll probably get married and this maybe done to her.

    June 25, 2009 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  19. JohnNYC

    Still doesn't sound like news. You'll have to try harder than this CNN. If you can't prove that he used taxpayer money to support his extra-marital affair, than the affair is nobody's business but his and his family. Please report back when you have some real news on this.

    June 25, 2009 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  20. suzi

    A Governor having an affair is disturbing, especially when he says he is a "man of faith" and a family values proponent, but what is more disturbing is his lack of judgement leaving his state without putting someone else in charge...this shows a lack of good sense!!

    June 25, 2009 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  21. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    Ok now if this is true has stepped over the line and has become a criminal investigation. Will he be charged? or will he get off with just a resignation like Spitzer? Former governor Spitzer still has yet to be charged with the crimes he commited? Why is it that these people can be held above the law?

    June 25, 2009 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  22. John

    if this guy used tax-payer money to fund his affair then he needs to pay it back to the people of South Carolina.....

    as for CNN to imply in the headline for this article that he did this without evidence or proof.... is absurd....

    this isn't news until we know he did it..... the liberal slant of this web-site is a joke....

    June 25, 2009 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  23. capnmike

    Typical GOP pig. Pass judgement on everybody else's lifestyle, blather a lot of crap about "family values" and the rest of the religio-fascist baloney, and then sneak around, lie and cheat. At taxpayers expense. These bums should be tarred and feathered.

    June 25, 2009 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  24. frombelair

    wow....what else did he buy with the tax payer`s money ?...how long it`s been going on for ? and his wife gave him a second chance?..hhuumm....why ?..what is she up to ?

    June 25, 2009 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  25. Bubba

    I get to comment on this? What a whackjob this guy is – this keeps getting better and better.

    June 25, 2009 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
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