June 25th, 2009
04:32 PM ET
14 years ago

Sanford to reimburse state for trip, denies wrongdoing

(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

Filed under: Mark Sanford
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. LacrosseMom

    @ "matt"......... There is nothing "upstanding" about Sanford. Paying South Carolina back for his trip, is the only thing to do.

    Sanford should resign, or be fired, not for the adultery, BUT for being AWOL from his job.

    No one disappears from his job for 5 days and has a job waiting for them! We ..... regular people would have been quickly fired!

    June 25, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  2. MyAudacity

    It is odd that the Department of Commerce just happened to schedule a trip to Argentina where his dear, dear friend lives, and where he just happened to start his affair.

    I take real issue with his lying and deception.

    I hope other women also look out and defend Mrs Sanford and her children, because they most certainly do not need this type of publicity.


    June 25, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  3. Jasmine

    The one thing I fail to understand is: Why is this man crying?????

    This man reminds me of Bush: Whenever he did something wrong, her cried in public thinking to make us feel sorry for him... Sorry for WHAT????????????????

    June 25, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  4. Robert

    So much for the sanctity of marriage! Stop the hypocrisy and stop denying the gays the right to commit to a loving relationship through marriage!

    June 25, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  5. B.H.

    Get ride of this Bum ! Is there no one that believes that this guy violated the peoples TRUST. If you or I did this at our work place and lied about it as well, we would be history.... He will now tell his four boys how important it is to use good judgement and not to lie!


    June 25, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  6. Uncle Ellsworthy

    @Dbow Queen City
    You cheated your wife, your sons, your political backers and your state. What does it take to get a GOPer to resign?

    About the same thing that it takes for a Democratic President who cheated on his wife, his daughter, his political backers and his Country.

    June 25, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  7. jt

    As a SC resident and on behalf of my extended family and friends – We all want Sanford to RESIGN NOW! What an embarrassment to the state!

    I also think he should be made to do public service for stealing the state's money for his Argentina trip. Serving the poor, educating the uneducated, assisting the needy to obtain healthcare. Heck, our infrastructure is crumbling and the state looks like one contiguous truck stop – Maybe he could get out and help the road pavers or pick up trash by the side of the road.

    June 25, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  8. Sherrol in Canada

    Is anyone in Sanford's circle concerned about his mental state? If not, I do believe they should give it some thought!!!!

    One could argue they are other mental issues at play other than narcissism.

    June 25, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  9. Ed

    Does it even remotely occur to anyone that Mrs. Sanford may be a cold, self-absorbed prima donna and that the guy finally needed a little TLC?

    That said, I hope he resigns, because he sounds like a man with deep feelings who deserves some personal happiness - and politics will never give him that.

    June 25, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  10. Sick -n- Tired

    Yeah! I always make it a practice to pay back money I (supposedly) don't owe! Makes perfect sense, what's the problem?

    June 25, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  11. Luke Brown

    He always has someone else to blame for his lies.

    June 25, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  12. lynn in NM

    Now he's qualified to be President.

    June 25, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  13. Sick -n- Tired

    Yeah! I always make it a practice to pay back money I (supposedly) don't owe! Makes perfect sense, what's the problem? C'mon CNN, don't censor me now! This is just getting good!!!

    June 25, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  14. joeb

    I agree with Ed.

    June 25, 2009 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  15. Nick

    Everyone needs to give the guy a break... we dont understand the circumstances and to be honest.... who cares.... as americans we spend way too much concerned about the private lives of our politicians.... everyone deserves to be able to keep their private life private – even polticians. Personally, I am a Dem and I strongly disagree with Sanford's policies and his overall demeanor... but that really doesnt matter. The fact that his private letters are on display for the world to see is dispicable... shame on the people who would even release such material.

    June 25, 2009 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  16. Peter

    It's pretty sad that Americans are spending so much time beleagering on this Sanford guy for falling in love with someone and so LITTLE time focusing on the real crook, that sTanford guy. The one who pulled a little Bernie Madoff down in Bermuda, bilking scores of people out BILLIONS of dollars! How come nobody cares about that?!?? People wallowing in this silly game of media gossip, and reading people's email's, but very little time is spent discussing the hardened criminals and crooks out there amongst us!

    June 25, 2009 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
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