September 23rd, 2008
05:31 PM ET
14 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. Matt

    @ Mark

    Your errant beliefs amuse Conan the is he who shall crush your Lipstick Amazonian during the debates!

    September 23, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  2. chuck

    I'm sick of this beauty queen.

    I don't understand why the McCain camp insists that the press be deferential to her. Is she running for office or not?

    We expect our candidates to answer hard questions, because the times are hard.

    September 23, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  3. Dustin, FL

    She needs more than a briefing. The woman is an idiot, hello?

    September 23, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  4. chippyarm

    Why, in the first place, is she chosen to meet with Karzai?

    September 23, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  5. California Gold

    I look at McCain and Palin as I do any executive I were to decide to hire. They are gonna have to work for me. I am their boss. That's our relationship. As a taxpayer what do I get in return for backing them. What do they bring to the table to put them over the top. A big fat ZERO. I don't think either is competent to do anything. I wouldn't even want them to answer the freakin' phone!

    September 23, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  6. Former Alaskan

    It'll take a lot more than a morning meeting with the Director of National Intelligence to fill this woman in on what's going on in the world. Shoot, she didn't even know what was going on in her little town of 7000 in Alaska when she was Mayor. What on earth would make anyone think she's ready for the national scene?

    September 23, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  7. Marie

    I like how all of the Obama supporters are suddenly worried about experience. The only experience Obama has at work is calling in absent. Stop demeaning women Mr Obama!

    September 23, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  8. Matthew, Houston, TX

    Who really knows if she's intelligent? Who really knows how the meetings went? We certainly don't because she won't talk to the press.

    By the way, the picture shows Gov. Palin showing disrespect to Pres. Karzi just by the way she is sitting. If she really did understand foreign relations, she would know about that. I'm no foreign expert (even with visiting about 16 different countries . . . including Russia for 16 days) but at least I know that.

    Three days of meeting foreign leaders and a short trip overseas last year, now that's foreign experience we can count on . . . NOT!

    September 23, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  9. Sara, Wisconsin

    If it were me, or Hillary, or Michelle, or any other thinking and intelligent woman – she'd be chafing to get a word out to the public regarding qualifications and policies – paint a picture of herself.
    By playing the Barbie puppet, she looks like an abused woman doing others bidding – certainly not good advertising for a national office.
    Cramming for VP in public – what a Mickey Mouse education!!!!!

    September 23, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  10. sharon walker


    September 23, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  11. Speider

    The previous comment didn't even show up for moderation. Will this? Testing, testing...

    September 23, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |

    Senator John McCain has been campaigning to stop “multi-million dollar payouts to CEOs who have broken the public trust.” But on Monday, when asked on The Today Show about the compensation package that his senior economic adviser Carly Fiorina received after she was fired from Hewlett-Packard, McCain took a different stand.

    Meredith Vieira, The Today Show: “But she left with a—I think it was a $45 million golden parachute, while 20,000 of her employees were laid off. She is an example of exactly the kind of person you say is at the root of the problem.”

    McCain: “I don’t think so.”

    Vieira: “The CEO—how can you say that?”

    McCain: “Because I think she did a good job as CEO in many respects. I don’t know the details of her compensation package, but she’s one of many advisers that I have.”

    Vieira: “But she did get a $45 million golden parachute after being fired, while 20,000 of her employees were laid off.”

    McCain: “I have many of the people, and I do not know the details of what happened.”

    September 23, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  13. Obama/Biden

    Qualified Hells Bells NO
    The circus is on infact just started the first act was a Pittbull trying to hop through the rings but missed them all .
    The ring boss kept hollaring but Pittbull wouldn't listen.

    Second act flying through the air with a cowboy rope they turned 4 Polar Bears in the ring they called them G ,C,R , and J , she roped G,C, in one whirl said leave J alone he wasn't going anyplace and the Ring Boss needed R .

    September 23, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  14. Gidget Gets Briefed

    Why does she need a briefing, it's a photo opportunity. It's not as if she's going to "say anything".

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 23, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  15. Angela

    You know that the ONLY reason that the media was not aloud was because it would EXPOSE Palin’s inexperience.

    Lets face it. McCain has been crying all summer that the media is not paying enough attention on them and now they hide?

    Sorry but if you need to hide from the American population then you don’t belong in the big leagues

    September 23, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |

    Economists estimate that the $700 billion bailout will cost every American $2,300. ABC News reports the bailout comes less than a year after Wall Street’s five biggest firms—Bear Stearns, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley—paid a record $39 billion in bonuses to themselves. Those 2007 bonuses were paid even though the shareholders in those firms last year collectively lost about $74 billion in stock declines. The bonuses paid by these five firms averaged over $200,000 per employee.

    Good job, Republicans!

    September 23, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  17. Jill

    When it's time to debate Joe Biden, I look for Sarah to call in sick.

    September 23, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |

    The New York Times has revealed Senator John McCain’s campaign manager Rick Davis was paid nearly $2 million to serve as president of an advocacy group set up by the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. As president of the Homeownership Alliance, Davis earned more than $30,000 a month for five years to beat back regulatory challenges as they began buying riskier mortgages with implicit federal backing.

    September 23, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  19. Did anyone hear the President of Iran?

    Too late Palin? You should have been groomed for at least a year now. I see Obama everyday, i know he's ready to lead, biden's ready to lead... you're just sad to watch. I feel bad that mccain used you, and you should just quit because your in over your head and congress will end up impeaching you if you ever won and had to be president.

    September 23, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  20. Cary

    When McCain first introduced Sarah Palin to the American people nobody knew who she was, how much experience she had, or what she stood for. I have read and watched everything I could to try to get a feel for Mrs. Palin. Even though I feel she may be a nice woman if I were to meet her on the streets in the small town I live in I am very confused on her standings. She has shied away on the American public sio much and does not come off well in interviews. I also saw the 29 seconds of meeting with a head of state. I believe that the press should have been allowed to stay before being asked to leave. Through this meeting I know she can talk about children....that's it!!!! I can not see her taking over as President if need be.

    September 23, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  21. jane

    got to love all those woman-hating liberals out there who just can't stand the thought that the first female VP may not be a democrat. Their vile hatred and intolerance is magnified anytime anyone "leaves the reservation" be they black, latino, female etc they MUST be a liberal or they aren't being TRUE to their group. What a load of .....

    September 23, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  22. Go Palin! Florida loves you!

    What do you all think Obama is doing right now – here is a clue:


    Wake up Obama Zombies

    September 23, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  23. blaze

    cum on guys this McPALIN mooorse hunter has more foriegn policy credentials than Obama. Lets face it she has spent a whole life time practicing how to hunt down terrorists by moorse hunting. Oh she even swam to Russia from Alaska; now that calls for toughness folks!

    September 23, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  24. DJN

    Sarah Palin is out of the league and over the heads of most of the democratic left who cannot think for themselves. Those who must rely on the likes of a Michael Moore and other" intellectuals" to do their "thinking and reasoning" for them, who wallow in their ignorant bias. They remind me of the racists I grew up with in Alabama who hated blacks for the color of their skin. The liberals are the new haters of my generation, who hate for any and all reasons they can think of. They do not celebrate anything good, because they are so blind they cannot see it. Next they will be burning crosses in front of the White House.

    September 23, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  25. Dan Barret

    I'll bet he used real small words and a globe and big maps.
    Question: does she remember or know what the CuBan Missle Crisis was. The W's press secretary didn't. dvb
    PS, Sarah, north is at the TOP of the map.

    September 23, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
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