February 24th, 2012
05:55 PM ET
3 years ago

Newly released Palin e-mails show frustration and discussion of her marital status

Washington (CNN) - Thousands of newly released e-mails from former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin show her frustration with the increasing ethics complaints filed against her and the mounting legal costs her family was personally incurring.

Also there is one tantalizing e-mail from Sept. 26, 2007 - almost a full year before she was tapped for the unsuccessful GOP presidential ticket - with the subject line saying "Marital Problems." Addressing two of her gubernatorial aides, she said "So speaking of ... If we, er, when we get a divorce, does that quell 'conflict of interest' accusations about BP?"

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That is apparently a reference to the oil company her husband, Todd, worked for. The oil company and the state would have a lot of dealings, but what exactly is meant in referring to the conflict of interest is not clear.

There is no further explanation about whether Palin was being serious or whether it was meant as a joke or sarcasm.

In a Twitter post Saturday, Palin poked fun at the media for their treatment of her e-mail, writing: "Good work, media. My '07 'divorce' email was a joke mocking you for making up divorce rumors. Keep up the, er, credibility-building efforts!"

What she is referring to is unclear since the e-mail was written in 2007, a year before she was tapped to be on the Republican ticket and many months before her marital status would be the focus of national stories.

Palin adviser Doug McMarlin said the divorce comment wasn't meant to be taken seriously.

"Governor Palin was clearly speaking tongue-in-cheek in the email," McMarlin said. "This email was during her fifth pregnancy and the Palin marriage remains one of the most solid in any environment. We thank the media for their, er, continuing attention to this particular issue."

Seperately, a Palin friend told CNN: "That divorce mention was a joke. The 'er' should have been the first clue. If you do the math, she was just finding out about her fifth pregnancy so they were quite close and doing well."

The Palins' marital status has been the source of rumors for years since she emerged on the national stage in 2008.

Several Alaskan websites reported in the summer of 2009 – soon after Palin resigned as governor – that a divorce was impending. Representatives for Palin have in the past vehemently denied any talk of divorce.

A Palin associate told People magazine in August 2009: "No truth to any of the rumors...No divorce. No affairs." Palin posted on her Facebook page a note saying she and her husband "remain married (and) committed to each other and their family."

These newly released e-mails also show clearly how frustrated Palin was, in the months leading up to her resignation, with the intense focus on her and the cost of it.

In April 2009, when another ethics complaint was lodged against her, Palin wrote to some aides: "Unflippinbelievable...I'm sending this because you can relate to the bullcrap continuation of the hell these people put the family through."

Ethics charges against Palin included an allegation she fired Alaska's public safety commissioner over his failure to fire a state trooper who was involved in a divorce with Palin's sister, complaints over travel expenses, and whether she used her influence to get a supporter a state government job.

A month earlier, when talking about the numerous Freedom of Information requests made with the state and how to respond to a reporter's query, she wrote they had cost Alaska over $1 million.

And then she said "We've all had to pay for OWN legal defense in this political bloodsport-it's horrendous-why do you think Todd is on the slope today? i am paying to defend in my capacity as GOVERNOR-actions taking in my official position. This is unheard of anywhere else." She went on to say "I can't afford this job."

In the e-mails, she and her aides also talked about the controversy over her being out of the state in the winter and spring of 2009. One aide e-mailed her indicating Palin had spent a total of 94 days out of Alaska. She was told the number dropped to 84 if Palin's travel days were counted as "in-state" since she spent at least part of the day there.

These e-mails are part of a second batch of documents released by the state of Alaska as part of a Freedom of Information request, which included CNN, that originated in fall 2008 after Palin became the vice presidential nominee.

This batch mostly covers the period of October 1, 2008, through July 26, 2009, when Palin left office. The state was supposed to release these last fall, but asked for an extension through this month.

The e-mails were released Wednesday to reporters physically located in the state and discs containing them were mailed to the respective media organizations on the same day. The Anchorage Daily News posted copies on its website, and CNN was able to examine them there.

CNN Political Reporter Peter Hamby contributed to this report.

– You can follow Kevin Bohn on Twitter @KevinBohnCNN

Also see:

Maher puts one-million dollars behind pro-Obama Super PAC

Romney says Obama will 'divide 1% vs. 99%'

Specter disputes Santorum account of support

Axelrod on GOP candidates: 'All hat, no cattle'


Filed under: 2008 Election • Sarah Palin
soundoff (332 Responses)
  1. K3Citizen

    In other words, McCain made a huge mistake picking this dingbat.

    February 25, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  2. Juicy Rebond

    Just leave the lady alone. Maybe she'll go away.

    February 25, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  3. Eric the actor midge

    Please Palin go away. When an email from 2007 is the only reason you can get a headline, time to just stop and leave us alone... She is such a nut job.

    February 25, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  4. Erik

    Palin, just go away. No one cares about you.

    February 25, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  5. Glen

    Palin isn't running for office. Kevin why don't you use these investigative skills to learn if candidate Obama traveled to Pakistan on an Indonesian passport in his youth? When and how did he renounce his Indonesian citizenship? What were his college grades, and how did he manage to get into Columbia? Bush's college record is now a website, doesn't the press want people to know how much smarter Obama is? The voting public should have answers to these, and many more questions about candidate Obama, but the press is so far in the Obama bag that it is incapable of doing its job

    February 25, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  6. Shelby

    "Also there is one tantalizing e-mail from Sept. 26, 2007 – almost a full year before she was tapped for the unsuccessful GOP presidential ticket – with the subject line saying "Marital Problems." Addressing two of her gubernatorial aides, she said "So speaking of ... If we, er, when we get a divorce, does that quell 'conflict of interest' accusations about BP?"
    ....................................................................................................................................................................................

    Based upon palin's email, it sounds to me as though rumors of a palin divorce were true.

    Anyone else remember all the threats from sarah's attorney re spreading rumors of her divorce?!

    February 25, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  7. Say it ain't so

    Oh well that's life

    February 25, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  8. Henry

    ENOUGH ALREADY!!! CNN, stop wasting your (and our) time on this buffoon and grifter.

    February 25, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  9. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    Binbo Barbie strikes again! Palin is the stupidist woman who ever served in politics. She wrote speeches on her hand. When asked what newspapers she read, she couldn't even name one, which goes beyond all logic for someone who said she has a degree in journalism. She proved and time againg that she knew absolutely nothing about governing, or state, local and federal politics and issues. John McCain picked her because she had a nice ass which he was caught staring at on stage. She has the brain of a pigeon, but doesn't know when to shut up about politics – a subject she knows nothing about.

    February 25, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  10. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    Bimbo Barbie strikes again! Palin is the stupidest woman who ever served in politics. She wrote speeches on her hand. When asked what newspapers she read, she couldn't even name one, which goes beyond all logic for someone who said she has a degree in journalism. She proved time and time again that she knew absolutely nothing about governing, or state, local and federal politics and issues. John McCain picked her because she had a nice ass which he was caught staring at on stage. She has the brain of a pigeon, but doesn't know when to shut up about politics – a subject she knows nothing about.

    February 25, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  11. Kowbell

    "So speaking of ... If we, er, when we get a divorce, does that quell 'conflict of interest' accusations about BP?"

    I don't like to defend her because I think she's a pretty mediocre person, but this sounds like she is being sarcastic.

    February 25, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  12. noparty

    I wonder what the tea party thinks of all these Palin talking points.... now about those Obama vacation days...

    February 25, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  13. AC

    Family Values White Trash

    February 25, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  14. AC

    Did she not spout Family Values? In poor English ofcourse.

    February 25, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  15. utahsang

    C.N.N You have got to be kidding me htis e-mail was four years ago and it is about her private life really is there nothing else C.N.N has to do? There is plenty of other things you could be doing how about C.N.N going after Nancy Pelozi's e-mails I"ll bet they would be interesting C.N.N i wonder how many articles you have had on Sarah Palin? C.N.N your obsession with SArah Palin is absurd perhaps you have not heard but she is not running for election I think the e-mails of this so called reporter should be released to the public and scrutinized!

    February 25, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  16. Andagain

    Did I miss something? Are we supposed to care about this?

    February 25, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  17. GI Joe.

    Trying to "skirt" legal issues again?

    February 25, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  18. Bugs

    This garbage belongs in people magazine not on the Ticker !

    February 25, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  19. Nothing new here

    People like Palin soon realize that "politics" is a rough, dirty business, esp. in this day and age.
    I can understand her frustrations – and I think this lady did the right thing by leaving public office.
    But trying to deny these frustration and blaming the media is not helping her cause.

    February 25, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  20. utahsang

    It appears C.N.N has quite an obsession with Sarah Palin they have to go to e-mails over 4 years ago to try and make an article? Just a reminder C.N.N. but she is not running for any political office with all the things happening in the world Sarah Palins E-mails are not of any importance I do not care about C.N.N gossip biddys!

    February 25, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  21. eb

    Getting pregnant doesn't mean they are not divorcing. I've seen couples who actually have had a child in order to "save the marriage". They do this to see if they can rekindle their love and to make it work, so this "excuse" is not valid. It actually confirms that they were thinking about it.

    February 25, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  22. eb

    utahsang, welcome to public life. And it's not only CNN who does this.

    February 25, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  23. judy

    sounds like she needed to make some money which she has over the last few years. And seems to be the reason she pops up every so often. Rags to riches kind of gal . the repos should be so proud. ding dong

    February 25, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  24. Carol

    John: Neither Palin nor Obama can help what their relatives do or who their parents are. Obama has risen above it all whereas Palin has not. He has made something of his life and is doing the right thing with his children. His wife is trying to do things for the youth of this country. Palin still supports her vigilante father and has done a terrible job of raising her children as well as her husband! Their is no talk in that family of getting an education or a job. It is all about quick money. What does Track do? What has Bristol done? Nothing. And mama, instead, encourages Bristol to go for dancing on TV and reality shows, both of which she has no talent for. Is this your idea of the Brady bunch?

    February 25, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  25. NVa Native

    It's bad enough people think this person is politically or socially credible in any way and therefore for them any utterance from her is news, now somehow they need to know how this dysfunctional human leads her personal life??
    Who cares!
    Let her whither on the vine of ignorance and arrogance that she and so many of her followers are so firmly attached too.
    Contrary to what her followers want you to believe – no one who disagrees with her fears her; it’s just that the natural gut reaction of vomit in the mouth when she speaks is what we'd rather avoid.

    February 25, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
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