Question: What is the real story about Nikki’s trip to China?
The Background: Nikki, along with several South Carolina CEOs, Commerce Department officials, the Governor, and other legislators attended the World Economic Forum in China in 2007. The trip was run by the Commerce Department, which means all her travel arrangements were scheduled by Commerce. During the trip Nikki flew Business Class, as did all legislators asked to travel to China. Nikki was proud of the policy and economic development lessons and information gained by the trip to China then – as evidenced by this press release sent out when she got back – and remains so now.
The Facts: When asked by a reporter, “How did you fly?,” Nikki, who did not schedule the trip and therefore was not sure if her seat was classified as First or Business Class, responded that she did not know and that the reporter should contact the Commerce Department to get an answer to any question he had about her travel. There is absolutely no wrong-doing on Nikki’s part in this trip.
What Else The Media Chose Not To Report: When offered a private hotel room for the entire trip, Nikki told Commerce that a private hotel room was not necessary and instead shared a room with a female member of the governor’s staff in order to keep expenses down.