September 23rd, 2008
05:31 PM ET
15 years ago

Palin briefed by Director of National Intelligence

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sarah Palin was briefed by the Director of National Intelligence prior to her meeting heads of state today."]

NEW YORK (CNN) - Before heading out for a trio of well-publicized meetings with foreign dignitaries on Tuesday, Sarah Palin received a national security briefing from the Director of National Intelligence, Admiral Michael McConnell, who met with the governor this morning in her New York hotel.

Palin’s top foreign policy adviser informed reporters of the meeting at a small briefing following Palin’s visits with Afghan president Hamid Karzai, Colombian president Alvaro Uribe and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

The adviser, Stephen Biegun, formerly a senior official on the National Security Council under President Bush, characterized the intelligence briefing as “routine” and said it was the sort of meeting that “is standard for candidates for the vice president and president.” Biegun said several officials were present to brief Palin.

Palin then departed her hotel for a series of motorcade trips around Manhattan, visiting with foreign leaders for the first time in her career.

“These are relationships that she intuitively understands are very important for the next President and Vice President of the United States,” Biegun said of the meetings.

In those get-togethers, Palin kept the focus primarily on energy issues and the growing influence of Russia, according to Biegun. Palin found Kissinger particularly engrossing - their meeting had been scheduled to last 30 minutes, but the two met for nearly an hour and a half.

“In talking to Dr. Kissinger,” Biegun said, “she certainly had a lot of questions about how the United States can develop a cooperative relationship with Russia, what are some of the unique challenges to the current state of Russia's political development, and having been in particular, some of the recent developments we've seen with Russia - backsliding democracy, Russia’s incursion into Georgia.”

Asked about her meetings with Karzai and Uribe, Biegun said Palin “liked them very much” and “established a great personal rapport.”

With Karzai, Palin chatted for half an hour about John McCain’s desire to send more U.S. troops to Afghanistan. With Uribe, she listened for about 20 minutes as the president discussed the country’s security situation and its handling of the FARC guerillas.

According to Biegun, “rather than make specific policy prescriptions, she was largely listening, having an exchange of views, and also very interested in forming a relationship with people she met with today.”

Biegun, who is helping prepare Palin for her debate with Sen. Joseph Biden on October 2 in St. Louis, would not say what specific topics the governor was concentrating on in her study sessions.

Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (587 Responses)
  1. Obama the REAL Change

    NW Dem September 23rd, 2008 5:42 pm ET
    This Dem is excited to have a woman finally representing all of us. It's about time. Too bad Obama didn't have the judgement necessary to nominate Hillary
    I'm sure if the REPUBLICANS knew McCain was going to run OUT and hire...ops....use....ops... any....ops.... woman to masquerade… a VP pick, they would have contacted Hillary last year..........

    September 23, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  2. dejah


    If you truly believe all that malarkey you just typed out with one finger (with the other hand in your cheetos bag) then you are seriously in need of corrective therapy.

    The TundraSow is the worst politician to come along in many a year... no experience beyond "Oh, gawrsh Goofy, I seen Russia so I know about it" and "Pay no attention to the crimes I committed in alaska"...

    But, you go ahead and vote for her, then wash your hands when you're done. The rest of us adults will be cleaning up the mess your Rethugs have made.

    September 23, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  3. kim hussein taylor portland, oregon

    she's gonna need a helluva lot more than a BRIEFing, this chick is freaking CLUELESS!!!!!!! she knows virtually NOTHING about policy, of any kind!!!!

    it is beyond stupidity to even CONSIDER voting for this ludicrous duo!!!!

    September 23, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  4. Does Obama Palin Comparison?

    This is HI-LARIOUS!!! I was just reading through all of these comments...Sarah Palin is still scaring the poop out of you liberals 🙂 It's like you people are publicly calling for the boycott of a movie, but all it's doing is driving larger crowds into the theater.

    Keep it up...Please!!!

    September 23, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  5. White and Black support for Obama

    Mccpalin won't co-operate with an investigation, won't follow the law, want to stand on the way on investigation of abuse of power.

    Give them the power they will do everything for themselves

    September 23, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  6. kim hussein taylor portland, oregon

    "I repeat:

    Governor Palin has an intuitive gift of listening and relating to people. Her political sense is inherent!

    This makes her the best candidate America has had in a very long time!"

    ummmm, "COMPLETELY UNAWARE" is a far more descriptive name for you, or "ostrich with his head in the sand", or "another idiot american HELLBENT on destroying our great country with your blind belief in the GOP lies"

    September 23, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  7. Lynne

    "aware" I'm sure that was ALL in sarcasm – or for your sakes, I hope so....Sarah Palin probably thinks Magaret Thatcher is a character on some old sitcom that plays on TV Land

    September 23, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  8. Art

    I can see all the eye rolling and just imagine the conversations afterwords. To the world the leaders who see the mess, Bush and his cronies have left us in, (like the bailout plan) how can she be takin seriously? This is an insult to the American people and our allies.
    ie; Poland on the brink of being attacked by Russia, like Georgia. What she going to do bake cookies or launch missles?

    September 23, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |

    GO to HUFFINGTON POST and read THE SHOCK DOCTRINE by Naomi Klein and then click on the link, NEWT GINDRICH. IF AMERICA

    September 23, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  10. think people

    "Governor Palin has an intuitive gift of listening and relating to people. Her political sense is inherent! "

    Are you people serious? When did being smart, educated, and versed in constitutional law, like Obama, become a BAD trait in a president? Now all of a sudden knowing how to listen–something your average 3 year old can do–is qualification for president? Do us a favor and stay home on election day, I beg you.

    September 23, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  11. Yvonne, Michigan

    Okay, why is this Beigun person answering the questions for this article after all wasn't it Palin in the meetings. Shouldn't she give the answers concerning her experience. How chauvinistic why Republican women allow themselves to be treated like this is beyond me. Treated like props – seen and not heard. She's exhibiting very little intelligence no substance what-so-ever and she looks like a complete idiot standing before these world leaders making small talk while being told what to say and even how to sit. My goodness this whole thing is ridiculous! This woman is not qualified to run this country or lead on this level...Her own party is showing everyone this. I will be so happy when she returns to her mediocre life of relative obscurity, she's setting women back fifty years...

    September 23, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  12. Disgusted

    Dear Aware....go hug a tree and wave your fairy happy wand somewhere else. I'm not going to base a decision as important as selecting the leaders of this country on the feel good let's hold hands argument you present. Why doesn't this woman make herself more available to the press?! If she were as strong as a candidate as the Republicans claim her to be, then, she would be more than happy to set the record straight herself. If she were a REAL strong person, then she would want HER OWN VOICE HEARD. To cower and not put your opinions out there for all of us to agree/disagree with is so incredibly WEAK, WEAK, WEAK, WEAK. I would love to have a better opinion of her but she has given me nothing to evaluate her on. Jeeeez, don't let yourself be fooled. I'm insulted that the GOP would offer her as an option.

    September 23, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
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