Colombia Fires Clinton Aide Over Remark

Says apology for trade meeting showed 'lack of respect'
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 5, 2008 2:25 PM CDT
Clinton strategist Mark Penn speaks to journalists in New Hampshire before the state's primary.   (Getty Images (by Event) Individuals)
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(Newser) – Colombia fired a Washington lobbying firm today after its CEO, a top Hillary Clinton strategist, apologized for meeting with the country's US envoy, Politico reports. Mark Penn called the trade meeting an “error in judgment” that “will not be repeated,” but the remark ruffled feathers in Colombia. "The Colombian government considers this a lack of respect to Colombians, and finds this response unacceptable," the government said it a statement.

Penn's meeting also upset Change to Win, a major labor coalition, which called for Penn’s resignation from the Clinton campaign; last year, two unions also called on Clinton to “rein in” Penn for “working for anti-union companies." Penn met with the Colombian official this week as CEO of Burson Marsteller, not as a Clinton advisor, to support a free-trade measure that Clinton opposes.