In a surprising new twist to the developing SARAH PALIN book scandal, The ENQUIRER has learned exclusively that Palin’s publicity machine may have attributed an official statement to a man involved in the scandal without his knowledge!

In best-selling author Joe McGinniss’ explosive new book “The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin,” McGinniss confirms an ENQUIRER exclusive  — published in our Oct. 6, 2008 issue – that Sarah carried on an extramarital affair with Todd’s business partner BRAD HANSON, and her husband TODD PALIN dissolved their snowmobile dealership after he learned about the affair.

Now 47, Sarah has vehemently denied cheating on her husband, and Hanson insisted he was never involved with the former Alaska governor. But McGinniss quotes a friend of Todd’s as saying Sarah’s husband was embarrassed by the affair, which occurred around 1996 and lasted as long as six months.

A day after The ENQUIRER exclusively revealed some of the book’s contents from a publishing source, the Palin camp went into overdrive to denounce the racy bio. Todd went on the attack and said McGinniss’ book “is full of disgusting lies, innuendo and smears” – in addition to claiming the author has “a creepy obsession with my wife.”

Palin allies also yesterday issued a “statement” to Associated Press, saying Hanson once again denies the affair allegations.

“This is the same old story that went around in 2008,” Hanson is quoted as saying. “Todd and Sarah Palin have been good friends for many years, and in fact we still own property together. We sold a former joint business venture for business reasons, nothing more. These attacks are shameful and those making them seem to be out only to destroy good people and make more money doing so.”

BUT did Hanson actually say and approve that statement?

When ENQUIRER reporter ALAN BUTTERFIELD went to speak to Hanson yesterday at his home in Alaska, Hanson seemed surprised that an official statement had been issued on his behalf.

Butterfield said Hanson appeared perplexed and confused when asked about the statement.

After being asked several times if he had released the statement, Hanson finally told Butterfield: “I think so,” and then he added, “Let me know what you think about it.”