Not only did Gov. Mark Sanford’s (R) family and staff seemingly not know that he had taken off to Argentina for the past week, but ABC News reports that the U.S. embassy in Argentina didn’t know either. According to a U.S. embassy official in Buenos Aires, they had “absolutely no idea” that Sanford was in the country and added that the news comes “from out of left field — it would be extremely odd that a US governor would not check in with the embassy.”
A source tells TPM Muckraker that “there is some evidence” that Sanford “was not alone” on his trip to Argentina. “The other shoe’s gonna drop,” the source said. “I believe there’s a reason he wanted to drop his SLED detail.”
,The Plum Line casts some doubt on how “odd” it was that Sanford didn’t notify the U.S. embassy after speaking to a State Department spokesman who said that “a governor would not notify state department or embassies if he were going abroad.”
,According to The State, Sanford “declined to give any additional details about what he did other than to say he drove along the coastline.” However, the paper notes that driving “along the coast could frustrate a weekend visitor to Argentina. In Buenos Aires, the Avenida Costanera is the only coastal road, and it’s less than two miles long. Reaching coastal resorts to the south requires a drive of nearly four hours on an inland highway with views of endless cattle ranches. To the north is a river delta of islands reached only by boat.” (HT: The Hill)
,Jonathan Martin reports, “State. Rep Nikki Haley, a South Carolina Republican gubernatorial hopeful and ally of Gov. Mark Sanford, removed a picture of and quote from the governor from her campaign website last night.”
,ThinkProgress received a statement from spokesperson Sonia Dub in the U.S. embassy in Argentina:
Governor Sanford did not contact our Intergovernmental Affairs Office or the Embassy in BA to register official travel. If he decided to travel as a private citizen, the Department of State would not have to be informed and I refer you to Governor Sanford’s office for further details.