Saturday, September 27, 2008

Did Palin lie about 'trade missions' with Russia?


In a Thursday interview with Katie Couric, Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin cited "trade missions" with Russia as her one tangible piece of foreign policy experience.

What trade missions?

Research doesn't show a single Alaska-Russia trade mission since former Democratic governor Tony Knowles visited Siberia in 1997, when Palin was running Wasilla, according to

When the reporter asked gubernatorial spokeswoman Kate Morgan about this issue, she refused to answer. Morgan claimed she couldn't legally discuss the matter because she is a state employee and the reporter had learned about the trade missions through the Couric interview, which stems from her bid for the Oval Office.

Spokespeople for the McCain/Palin campaign did not respond to requests for comment.

Palin has never visited Russia and had never traveled outside of North America until last year, the Associated Press reported. The vice presidential candidate had never met a foreign leader until a trip to New York this week.

A press release details Palin's meeting with a trade mission from the Yukon, but nothing about dealings with Russia.

The "pattern is familiar" to Andrew Sullivan of The Atlantic, who refers to Palin's"odd lies."

The following is an excerpt from Palin's interview:


COURIC: Have you ever been involved with any negotiations, for example, with the Russians?

PALIN: We have trade missions back and forth. We -- we do -- it's very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where -- where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border. It is -- from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there. They are right next to -- to our state.


Sen. John McCain told ABC’s Charles Gibson that Palin has foreign policy experience because "Alaska is right next to Russia. She understands that."

Palin also falsely stated in the same interview with Couric that former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger supported her view that U.S. leaders should not talk to Iranian leaders without preconditions.

Couric called Kissinger after the interview to confirm he believes, as does Sen. Barack Obama, that the U.S. should talk to Iran without any preconditions, reported.

No comments: