May 15, 2008 -- Republican presidential hopeful John McCain urged Americans to sell off any investments they have in Sudan -- after media reports revealed his wife had millions invested in funds owning stock in firms which reportedly did business with Sudan.
Cindy McCain has sold off those holdings, McCain confirmed Wednesday, and said he and his wife had not known the funds had ties to the Sudanese regime, which has armed and supported militias considered responsible for killing, raping and torturing hundreds of thousands of civilians in the country's Darfur region.
"I would hope" Americans would sell stocks and other investments tied to Sudan, McCain told reporters at a press availability Wednesday in Columbus, Ohio, "because I think that government obviously is one that has done virtually nothing to prevent the genocide that is taking place in Darfur."
McCain has previously made strong statements opposing investment in Sudan, which has significant petroleum reserves. "The politics of oil impede the global progress of our values," he declared of the Sudanese crisis in a speech last year.
Cindy McCain reportedly pulled $2 million from two investment funds owning shares of Indian and Chinese petroleum companies doing business in Sudan. The move came after a reporter queried the campaign about the holdings Wednesday.
"We found out about it, they found out about it and fixed the problem," McCain said from the campaign trail.
What little is known of Cindy McCain's fortune -- estimated to be in the $100 million range -- comes from her husband's Senate disclosures. While other potential "first spouses" have allowed the details of their tax filings revealed, Cindy has declined to release her IRS returns, citing her children's privacy.
Recently, Cindy McCain cancelled a planned memoir to have been published by Viking, which had been announced just last month. A spokeswoman for Mrs. McCain said her boss decided to cancel the project due to the demands of the campaign trail and the "various humanitarian trips she has planned this summer."
ABC News' Brett Hovell contributed to this story.