February 24th, 2012
05:55 PM ET
11 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:

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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. ted

    none of this is surprising, but why does anyone still care about her?

    February 24, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  2. JT

    As much as I don't like Palin (as I voted for Obama due to McCain's chose of her for his V.P.) who cares if she thought about divorce in 2007. Really?

    February 24, 2012 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  3. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    And the CNN Sarah Palin obsession enters its 12,567 day....

    February 24, 2012 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  4. Investment Advisor

    Isn't this great...CNN has now become the new National Enquirer. What is the purpose of this report....to feed the idiotic left??? Very Very Sad!!!

    February 24, 2012 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  5. DorisV

    Seems the interest in Palin is going downhill. Personally can't wait till she is just a bad memory.

    February 24, 2012 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  6. Tzckrl

    Poor poor pitiful Sarah . . . she's such a victim of heartless media, sharks thirsting for the blood of compassionate conservatives. She's like a modern-day Mother Theresa - just horrible how this sweet, beautiful, fragile human being who selflessly gave all she had, only wanting to cure our society's ills, has been maligned by a vicious, vengeful media. The inhumanity, the injustice of it all. . . .

    February 24, 2012 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  7. Liska

    Thank all our Gods that this imbecile did not get any closer to the the WH. I hold a strong feeling of abhorrence towards McCain for playing recklessly with our nation by preforming a Hail Mary by choosing her as VP. There are not enough words in the English language to describe how I feel about her. But one thing, I bet she is rues the day she dropped out of the race for president since we have such a GOP mess at this point. And her emails are just as gobbled and garbled as her speech. A horrible, horrid, person.

    February 24, 2012 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  8. Stephan

    CNN must be pretty hard up to report news on Palin these days. Her 15 minutes of infamy were up years ago.

    February 24, 2012 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  9. Chris

    I wonder how Sarah feels to be on the receiving end of a high traffic public public ridicule?

    February 24, 2012 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  10. ngc1300

    This is so-yawn-passe.

    February 24, 2012 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  11. Larry L

    It would be easier to give her the respect in dealing with family matters if she'd ever shown respect for anybody else. The press will tee-off on her and she deserves every bit of it.

    February 24, 2012 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  12. Michael

    Its none of our business what her marriage is like. It IS, however, very much the business of the people if there were unethical business dealings with BP!

    February 24, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  13. Thomas

    She cant run for office . She was very close to being indicted .And she would have gone down on favoritism in contracts for the pipeline.

    Todd is not a victim , he's a volunteer !

    February 24, 2012 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  14. garrett

    i really don't care!

    February 24, 2012 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  15. diridi

    This idiot is so pathetic.

    February 24, 2012 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  16. bassman

    Palin writes:So speaking of ... If we, er, when we get a divorce... Palin frequently mocks her critics, taking their arguments to the next level.. Even Frank Bailey knew she was joking, as he reponded in the email "very funny" CNN ,please reread the email and update your post. We were told she resigned to make money. I think we can put that lie to rest.

    February 24, 2012 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  17. broderick

    Such a reject just go away please go away u are such a woman with no voice!! And women are beautiful!!! OBAMA 2012!!

    February 24, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  18. katy heys

    I'm not interested in Sarah Palin's marriage or private life. In fact, I'm not interested in Sarah Palin at all. She is a nobody who made a good first impression until the public got up close and personal and found out that who we thought was Sarah was just an allusion. If I never heard anything from her or about her again, it would be too soon.

    February 24, 2012 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  19. Maryellen

    This woman put herself on a very public stage, sorry but she deserves what's coming to her. Sometimes a huge ego is a horrible thing.

    February 24, 2012 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  20. billy davis

    Palin was scouting for a black man to do. Since she couldn't do it with Obama.

    February 24, 2012 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  21. Bob

    And when will Obama poodle CNN investigate Obama's emails ? Never. All is well in the Liberal Media Land of Obama worship.

    February 24, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  22. Jake

    which she vehemtly denied over and over...so she's a liar!?!?

    February 24, 2012 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  23. Shannon

    the family values crowd can sure preach a good game, but they never seem to actually live those values. They sure are quck to judge others though!

    February 24, 2012 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  24. Jane

    The way I see it, as long as CNN keeps sucking up to Ms. Palin and giving her free publicity and airtime, she'll be just fine. And CNN's already shaky reputation for balance will go the way of Faux News....Ted Turner must be spinning in his grave.

    February 24, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Toddy you're toast. Your wife, awful as she is, is weary of supporting you. Bye-bye Toddster.

    February 24, 2012 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
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