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. Jim

    The folks who support McCaine and Palin are the same folks who voted Bush in power. When are these people going to learn? I guess it is not bad enough for them yet, there are no food lines out there yet.

    September 23, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  2. Annie

    Darko, do you realize that the Commander in Chief, our President, is in charge of the troops. He calls the shots regarding the troops, not Obama. And Obamatard? Seriously! Name calling? Do you realize what a serious mess we're in?

    September 23, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  3. darko

    Michael Flannery,

    With all due respect, President Karzai is visiting our country. It would be wrong of him to be offended by our customs.

    September 23, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  4. OS

    She should spend 30 mins each with Bush Senior and Bush Junior – Then she will have all the experiecne to become the President of USA.

    September 23, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  5. Daryl from Seattle

    So here we are with the Vice Presidential candidate obviously receiving on the spot training for a job she's not ready for. If something, God forbid, happens to Senator McCain, are we going to get to watch her train on how to be a president too??? And since no media was allowed at these little sit downs, how do we know we're not being fed a bucket of fluff??? I still can't believe she said, "Oh nice" to the leader of Afghanistan about his son's name! hahaha

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

    Let's be honest. Palin is speed dating at the UN. She is just one step above a world tour of a Miss America contest winner. I guess her foreign policy credentials will come through osmosis of being in the room with foreign leaders. WOW! But she's ready to be president of the united states. I guess her new line will be...I have foreign policy experience because I can see Russia from Alaska and I have skaken hands with foreign leaders.

    September 23, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  7. the other jd

    I so bet she had crib notes written on her arm.

    September 23, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  8. Larry

    Who wouldn't want to work with her,she's Great!!!!Oh,I know,the Dems that post to this blog.She will open doors around the world ,and create good will to leaders and diplomats. Well,not to the Dems on this blog.

    September 23, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  9. Chuck

    HA HA. Seems most of your comments only echo the comments of Hillary Clinton when Obama went on his world tour earlier this year!!!

    Does the little lady from Alaska have you all that scared?

    September 23, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  10. MikeH

    Anybody who's an Intelligence appointee of George W Bush is probably a flunkey from Oral Roberts U. or some other unaccredited religious nutjob college. Sarah and this guy Stephen probably hit it right off talking about the holy crusade their spiritual leader, George, has launched in the land of oil.

    Scary, since Sarah wouldn't ordinarily qualify for any kind of security clearance given her personal history. But then most of George Bush's appointees wouldn't ordinarily qualify for their positions either.

    You have to be willing to violate the Constitution to be an appointee of Dubya. I think Sarah would fit right in.

    September 23, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  11. atlantan

    Let's see.....Sarah Palin is willing to talk to foreign leaders, but is not willing to talk to American reporters The press is given only 20 seconds to see her. After the meeting, instead of Palin speaking for herself, Palin's advisor tells us how it went.

    I am beyond appalled. What is this, the Soviet Union?

    Gas at outrageous prices, sky-high deficits, unemployment, and I'm being offered a politician whose VP pick is a woman who won't talk to reporters and who told her husband to ignore a court subpoena. Reform mavericks, my eye. If this is honesty, I'm a duck.

    September 23, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  12. The Artful Dodger

    "Palin briefed by Director of National Intelligence". Now that's a scary thought.

    September 23, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  13. Kate Fergus

    So the Republicans thinks that spending a half hour each with leaders who are indebted to the US for foreign aid gives her the foreign policy experience that she needs to become VP. Give me a break. If they called any other credible leaders like Putin, Merkel, Sarkosy etc. I am sure they would be too busy!!

    She is an insult to women everywhere – no role model to my girls. She reminds me of the executive women of old who used to get ahead by doing "favours". Palin just lies to get ahead.

    September 23, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  14. Maddie, Hartford, Ct.

    Okay...Let's hear it. How'd she do? I guess none of us will be allowed to know.

    September 23, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  15. Realist in Denver

    darko – "Pandering and Treasonous and NO reports from the mainstream!"

    You were talking about Palin / McCain, right?

    September 23, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  16. Jack

    WHY are ALL these posts PRO-OBAMA??????

    Is CNN the campaign mgr for this FRAUD?????

    September 23, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  17. Kevin Kris

    Thanks but No Thanks Gov. Palin.

    Your Attention Please,
    Bus Number 2862 “Straight and Outright Lies Express” will be
    leaving to “Bridge to Nowhere” on Nov 4th 2008.

    Not this Time, Not this Election, Not this Year.

    Yes We Can!
    Obama/ Biden ‘08

    September 23, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  18. Walt

    To those whose depth of support translates into "We love you Sarah!" while ignoring the real danger that this undereducated, ill-informed, evangelically controlled, bridge to nowhere of a vice presidential candidate presents, all I can say is that her being a heartbeat away from taking over the presidency of an aged, cancer-diagnosed presidential candidate should have us all preparing for Armageddon.

    Oh and tell me, if a first year medical student sits in a room and chats with brilliant surgeons, does that prove that the student is prepared to do your open heart surgery?

    September 23, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  19. karen-phoenix

    This women almost flunked college like McCain. She got a D in economics.
    Obama and Biden between them have magnum cum laudi degrees in foreign affairs and finance and masters in law and constitutional law and America is listen to the rednecks instead of intellegence when America is on the brink of destruction!!! Wake Up America!!! Smell the roses instead of the beer!!!!

    September 23, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  20. Chidi

    This is a scam. First, they close out the meeting b/w her and the foregin leaders from the press and the rest of us. Then you don't allow her to provide answer to the press, the n3rd, they stage managethe event by bringing out this bush crony to put the message out there that she was briefed and totally engaged in the conversation....

    Give me a break .This is the biggest fairy tale ever!!!!

    September 23, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  21. Mike from Calgary

    Palin undertook to cooperate with Alaska Legislature Senate Investigation and RENEGED ON THAT UNDETAKING.

    McCAIN knowingly approves of LIES in those REPUBLICAN ADS. I guess he has no honour AND he is a Republican, but he's NOT RESPONSIBLE.

    IT DOES NOT COMPUTE. ...sorry .. bad choice of words ... McCain and the Truth do not mix.

    September 23, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  22. Larry

    Everything is so phoney and full of lies with Palin and McCain.Now she is going to cooperate with the State Persoanl Board in the Troopergate situation.The joke is that she appointed on of the moderators herself and the other two are Republicans that were there before she was Governor.She is making a joke out of America and the Reublicans are allowing it.These photo ops are a joke and she just made a joke out of the law with Troopergate now.Nice vetting McCain !!!! Good of you to put Country First you imbosol !!

    September 23, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  23. darko

    I'm thinking these obamatards are insecure that this woman carries more respect, dignity and common sense then all of them.

    But then again, they can't see past Obama's mirage, even though he dropped that mirage months ago. He's shown himself to be just another typical democratic candidate.

    Vote 'NO' to cradle to grave socialist agendas and handouts for all.

    McCain/Palin 08

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

    Hey CNN.... how did you like being shut out of talking with Sarah Palin? Imagine what the next four years will be like when she takes office? Freedom of the press, my butt!

    September 23, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  25. John

    All Obama Supporter,

    Is the change he is implying to, includes campaigning against sitting Democrats in Senate and Congress when they are up for re-election, who are the root of the financial crisis we are having right now. We are so deep in this crisis and all our elective officials think about are how to better forward their candidates and themselves.

    If Obama promise that on National T.V., I will surely vote for him. That is the change I am looking for.

    September 23, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
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