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.

By Alex Koppelman
Published April 4, 2008 5:46PM (UTC)
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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."

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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