LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The chairman of the Republican party of Arkansas says the controversy over Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ purchase of a podium “manufactured crisis.”

Over the past month, there has been some controversy surrounding the governor’s office and its purchase of a $19,000 podium.

This purchase came to light by Freedom of Information Act requests from blogger and attorney Matt Campbell.

According to Campbell’s posts on X, formerly known as Twitter, Sanders bought a custom podium back in June, just before a trip to Europe.

An invoice from Beckett Events LLC says the total cost was just over $19,000. The Republican party of Arkansas has reimbursed the governor’s office for the podium, and it says an accounting error caused the delay in getting those funds back.

There are also accusations that some documents that were included in the FOIA were knowingly altered or withheld by the governor’s office.

This week on Capitol View, party chairman Joseph Wood said the controversy is a distraction from other hot-button issues.

“We’re going to spend that energy here and not deal with the fact that folks in the Democrat party are saying, ‘You know what? We can’t hold up the Biden administration. We can’t talk about inflation. We can’t talk about the border crisis. So, we’re going to go and come up with this manufactured crisis,'” Wood said.

Wood was asked if the Arkansas GOP planned to reimburse for the podium and why it didn’t buy it all along. He said the party has always bought furniture for the governors and has done so prior to Sanders’ administration.

Republican Arkansas Sen. Jimmy Hickey Jr. of Texarkana has requested a legislative audit related to the purchase of the podium.

The full interview with Woods can be found here.