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

Palin unaware of Russian energy meeting in Alaska

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/15/palin4.jpg caption="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. Papasan in Arizona

    Clueless in Alaska! " Ya can see Russia from Alaska"
    Apparently as well you can't see you are facing a Criminal Indictment for Abusing your Powers as Governor of Alaska. Palin, you are undoubtedly the biggest idiot the Republicans have ever dredged up. A total Incompetent Fool!

    BTW:The last resort of all Failing Republican Campaigns is to energize the base, Right Wing Looneys! Republicans are waking up from a long peaceful Bush slumber [Ouch!], to find two morons [McCain/Palin], publicly displaying a comical megalomaniac love affair with themselves, out of touch with our Nations true issues [it's the ECONOMY!], and engaging in a revolting "McCain First" campaign! That's a tough wake up call, "MY FRIENDS"!
    The McCain inept solution is an Ignorant Slang Talking Power Hungry Junk Yard Dog [Awaiting Criminal Indictment] scampering around the Nation drumming up Racist Bigotry [Wink Wink]. The obvious erratic incompetence of the McCain/Palin campaign provides us evidence enough that they are unfit for any public office. As Americans face the hardest financial disaster in the History of the USA, this is McCain Policy of Change/Solutions/Ansewrs! John McCain / Sarah Palin have no idea what Americans trying to survive face. 401K plans gutted, Unemployment, Foreclosures, and the Global Economy in disarray...
    McCain/Palin are a disgusting self serving disgrace. Clearly proving they are not up to the complex task of keeping the Nation together in hard times.

    October 15, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  2. Pete

    In 20 days she can go back to Alaska and brush up. She is starting to make Dan Quyale look smart.

    October 15, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  3. Mr Brown

    Come on is anyone honestly surprised with her???

    October 15, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  4. Al, NY NY

    The clueless one strikes again... Maybe the "first dude" knew but forgot to tell Fido. I mean he seems to be quite involved in things in her state. She'll come back with some stupid platitude to try to cover her backside but you know "she was exonerated of any wrongdoings" in Troopergate

    October 15, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  5. Robin

    I guess Alaska just runs itself. She's definitely living up to her motto of less government in business ... literally starting with the executive branch.

    October 15, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  6. bill canada

    When Obama takes the troops from Iraq , where is the USA going to get its oil?

    October 15, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  7. B Clark

    Would SOMEBODY please lock that idiot up until the election...PLEASE!!! Where is his son? Please tell the son to Shut that Stupid man up!! What is his problem? Can he not stand the fact that he NEVER came anywhere close to winning the election for President and so he doesn't want Obama to win either, is that his problem? Or is he just senile!!!

    October 15, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  8. Jeff Brown

    Does this actually surprise anyone? This is the same way Bush has acted for the last 8 years!

    October 15, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  9. Cindy Nelson

    This woman is vile.

    October 15, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  10. Peggy

    Sarah should stop blinking to keep her eyes open so she could know what is going on in her family and country. Also, she should give her motor mouth a rest so her brains could work.

    October 15, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  11. sarahinfla

    Don't you get it yet this is the primary reason this woman was chosen her friendly ties to Alaska and big oil. Sure she fires up the base, but always remember that it's about the money here in Grand Ole America. They are already planning there stratergy on how to join the U.S. and Russia ( Oil that is and where does Russia's neighbor Georgia fit in here?) with senator mccains (IRI) group. Yes right across the Barren Straits.....Maybe a nice bridge and runway to nowhere or a nice environmentally safe pipeline. I'm sure you guys saw this coming?

    October 15, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  12. Diane

    What a joke....she's not even aware of what's going on in her "big
    oil state".

    This woman is clueless and has no business being in politics, muchless running for VP of this country.
    Palin--stay home and raise your five kids for pete sake!!!!!

    Go away Sarah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 15, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  13. Robert

    CNN, you need to report the NEWS. Jesse Jackson released a statement saying that he did not say that. He said they distorted his statement, he said that he has not spoken to Obama about Israel and doesn't know anything about Obama's plans for Israel. That is what Jesse Jackson's response is and CNN you need to report the truth.

    October 15, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  14. Elizabeth - Texas - Former Republican

    Jack Cafferty is a wonderful person. We miss seeing every evening. We are so sorry about your wife. Hurry back, Jack. We miss you.

    October 15, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  15. Tom Dawson

    So much for the "Energy Czar" of Alaska – just like so much if not all of what she's said and done so far in her political "careers".

    October 15, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  16. Penny

    Jayel....can you read?? Cleared of any wrongdoing? The official findings were that the VIOLATED the ethics code and ABUSED her power!! Geez, this just proves to me once again that the uneducated and ignorant are the "republican base"

    October 15, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  17. death of the republican party?

    she is such an idiot. like for real what was mccain thinking. send her back to alaska so she can learn more about her own state!

    Because Palin Anywhere Near the White House is Terrifying!

    October 15, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  18. wwf

    Did not know? Is she not the gov? The press won't let her talk? You mean McCain won't. Come on Palin, you like to talk the talk at a distance, but can you walk that walk. I don't think so. If you could, you would be speaking to more than fox reporters and staged interviews. You talk like you have a pair. Well, quit hidding behind your bra and have another debate with Joe. No holds barred. No more being protected. I am an independent, and if you are the most qualified woman that McCain could find for his running mate, then I will not be voting Republican anytime soon. In fact, I look at you as a slap in the face to the many of the women who are more than quailified to be VP in the Republican Party. TAke a hike.

    October 15, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |


    October 15, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  20. Hankers

    TODD: "Sarah! The neighbours are here!", Boy, they sure speak funny."

    October 15, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  21. GERRI

    If she doesn't know what is going on in her own state of Alaska, how the h- can she keep up the rest of them. Go back to Alaska and take that Honky husband with you

    October 15, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  22. Ray Fisher

    Um, unless things have changed since 2005 when I last worked for the Air Force, Alaskan airspace cannot be violated by Russia as it is part of NORAD, our northern defense shield since world War II. Someone please ask Gov. Palin if she's ever heard of Elmendorf AFB the NORAD Regional headquarters in Alaska!!! If the Russians are violating US airspace over Alaska, they risk being shot down and it would be an international incident. Please tell me Georgie hasn't disabled NORAD and that Palin is once again speaking of things she knows absolutly nothing about!!!

    October 15, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  23. C A

    So Palin has left the people of Alaska to their own. Depedning on your point of view that could be good or bad.

    There are rumors that a group in Alaska is getting together to secure signatures to have Palin recalled as Governor. Is this true? If so watch as she finds herself without a job saddling up with Limbaugh and Hannity after the election to make appearances on their shows to spew more of her divisive talk. She can keep telling everyone how she and no one else (with the exception of Limbaugh and Hannity of course) love their country.

    Think she is going to stay home and take care of her younster? Yeah, right.

    October 15, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  24. Rita, WI

    John manipulated Sarah. I guess when you are approached by a powerful senator and the lure of world wide fame, you get giddy. Sarah is drunk with delusions of actually being able to run the country.

    Maybe she will go back to Alaska and educate herself. Oh, I forgot, she has a baby. Well, in 5 years or so she may be ready to get a second degree. Someday she will understand what a fool she made of herself. John doesn't care, he's accustomed to using women.

    October 15, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  25. idiots for McPalin

    Campbell Brown, you are a biased journalist and stop forcing your GOP idealogy on the rest of us. Once the election is over we aren't watching your CNN crap anymore.

    CNN you are just like Fox news. I know you will be greatly disappointed with a black president. That's why you have lou dobbs, glenn beck, bill bennet's new show, campbell brown, drew griffin on your show pushing for an Mccain win.

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