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. French001

    The only thing i cannot understand is WHY she chose to use emails to discuss matters like these.

    February 24, 2012 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |

    Simple She is incapable of any kind of pressure and this bubble-head is the face of the GOP,,,,,,,,,,,, Good God!!!

    February 24, 2012 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  3. westward

    "...Palin posted on her Facebook page a note saying she and her husband "remain married (and) committed to each other and their family." -- Sounds like a statement somebody makes after something big has happened and they're making up their minds as to what to do next.

    February 24, 2012 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  4. David c.

    she sure had made up for it financially!

    February 24, 2012 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  5. Terry

    I am not buying it. Sarah Palin cannot type.

    February 24, 2012 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  6. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    Family values clash with Black Walnuts....

    February 24, 2012 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  7. Tim in MN

    You can clearly see the complete and total blame that she will place on the media here. She'll howl and scream like a ban-shee and loath those that have shamed her. Of course, she has done this to herself but others always seem to take the totality of the accursed blame.

    February 24, 2012 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  8. NickD2

    Palin obviously cannot stand the heat of politics when things are not simply handed to her. Every major politician in the land faces issues like she is sniveling on about. Yet she QUIT after only two years into her job.

    Now she wants a contested convention so she can step in without having to go through the vetting process of the primaries because she knows that even a Bachmann would have made her look like an uninformed lightweight.

    February 24, 2012 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  9. tingle

    Someone still cares about this half term governor? No wonder she calls cnn the "lamestream media" This seems more fit for a Gawker article

    February 24, 2012 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  10. Frudd

    Teen pregnancy + divorce does NOT equal "family values", at least not in my book. What a hippopotamus.

    February 24, 2012 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  11. Grand Oil Party

    Who is Sarah Palin? Is there any reason why I should care about this person?

    February 24, 2012 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  12. Robrob

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

    A divorce of "convenience?"

    February 24, 2012 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  13. woofie

    Really, who cares.

    February 24, 2012 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  14. tired of the pandering

    got nothing to do with politics, she's an attractive woman, given what the dumbacrat have, hilllary, mooochelle, the michele kids, chelse clinton, nancy pelosi,, are you saying you wouldn't,,

    February 24, 2012 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  15. MoMo

    conservatives value, lmao.

    February 24, 2012 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  16. tired of the pandering

    if you wouldn't you must like the barney frank weenie in a bun solution

    February 24, 2012 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  17. Barbara

    She is a fraud - always was and always will be.

    February 24, 2012 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  18. Rich

    "reporters physically located in the state" – wow ! that is some serious investigating ! Can you send a reporter or two to Kenya to investigate The Obama?

    February 24, 2012 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  19. Todd C

    Obviously too many gays are getting married; why else would her marriage be having problems?

    February 24, 2012 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  20. yneemee

    CNN uses fake teases in their headlines more than the worst rags of journalism.. keep up the good work – you sink to the bottom with every anti-white, anti-Christian, anti-Palin article you trot out

    February 24, 2012 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  21. enuff

    Interesting. Now if we could hust see Romney's from when he was governor. Oh, wait...there aren't any computers left that may have his records.

    February 24, 2012 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  22. BK

    I suppose this might damage Palin's political chances if she had any at this point.

    February 24, 2012 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  23. Lefty

    I usually take pleasure in watching the press keep the pressure on Sarah, but this non-story reeks of a couple of junior tabloid reporters trying to set a fire where there's no fuel.

    February 24, 2012 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  24. Someone else

    please now begin pointless personal attacks. ah the internet.

    February 24, 2012 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  25. the spock

    Just disgusting to publish private E-Mail correspondence of a person. Even more disgusting to gossip in public over the very private content of the E-Mail. I thought CNN would be a serious american news organization. In Germany we have the "Bild-Zeitung", England has "The Sun" and USA has now "CNN" for tabloid journalism. Gingrichs´ slamming of CNN in South-Carolina was still too soft

    February 24, 2012 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
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