03/28/2008 02:46 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Conflicting Obama Answers On NAFTA Meeting

For four days after a news report alleged that Sen. Barack Obama's economic adviser had told Canadian officials to ignore the Democrat's tough talk on trade deals, the campaign gave incomplete - and sometimes misleading - explanations of whether a meeting had even taken place.

Obama spokesman Bill Burton said Monday night that the campaign had known of the meeting between adviser Austan Goolsbee and Canada's consul general in Chicago since a Canadian television network, CTV, first reported the interaction last Wednesday.

"When they reported it, we were aware of it at that point," Burton said.

Burton and other campaign aides - even Obama himself - vociferously denied the substance of the report, which alleged Goolsbee had given back-channel assurances to Canada that the Illinois senator's call for reopening labor and environmental rules in the North American Free Trade Agreement was merely political posturing.

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