The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Mark Penn, the controversial chief strategist for Hillary Clinton's campaign, met with the Colombian ambassador to the U.S. on Monday to discuss a bilateral free-trade agreement between the two countries. The snag? Clinton opposes the deal.
The Journal says, however, that Penn was at the meeting not in his capacity as a Clinton advisor but as chief executive of Burson-Marsteller Worldwide, a communications and lobbying firm. The firm, the WSJ reports, signed a one-year, $300,000 deal in March 2007 under which it represents Colombia on the trade deal and anti-drug-trafficking initiatives. A Clinton spokesman, Howard Wolfson, told the WSJ by e-mail that "Mark was not there on behalf of the campaign ... Sen. Clinton's opposition to the trade deal with Colombia is clear."