Penn attended meeting on trade deal Clinton opposes

A top advisor to Hillary Clinton met with Colombia's ambassador Monday for talks on a free-trade agreement his candidate is against.


Alex Koppelman
April 4, 2008 5:46PM (UTC)

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."

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Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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