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. Molly

    Good for you GOV Palin!!!
    Funny- when obama took a Field Trip overseas to learn all about foreign policy – at our expense- – that was so presidential!
    GOV Palin goes to NY where all leaders are gathered and she is bashed. The obama gang here really are a disgrace – obama will never be elected.

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


    Please accommodate the lying RNC and stop covering this fraud.

    All Americans should be completely outraged that they have been treated as complete and utter fools by appointing this women, and equally that their supposed leader will not allow anyone to ask either of them any questions.

    That is called running scared from where I come from.


    September 23, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  3. Jeffer -N.M.

    So as she's a candidate for VP she gets a breifing from the Director of National Intellegence, but she can't answer any quesitons at all from the press? Come on!

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

    The Republican Party, John McCain, and Sarah Palin have all turned into a national embarrasment. The party that brought you war, corruption at all time new highs, and economic destruction, now ask for another four to eight years to finish the job. "Guys and Gals" and "My Good Friends" maybe it is time to follow the lead of our French brethern: maybe it is time to put up the barricades.

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

    It's so amusing that a woman who hunts for moose and advocates killing wolves from the air is afraid of the press. All she does is stay on script...

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

    This woman is a complete stranger to me and the VAST Majority of this country. Even to the weirdos who never heard of her until a feww weeks ago who now claim to know her so well. She has NO record of any kind and is a sucessionist.

    Yea just keep telling her our countries deepest secrets ok?

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

    Did it ever occur to anyone that maybe those people that Palin met with have no use for the media either? The media is a joke and so are these blogs. You people who support Obama would tear anyone apart that is not for the "great one." It is rather funny reading the whines about why Palin doesn't answer any questions from the media. Don't you realize it why it is?????

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

    @ the person who said: "Yet, eeeeeevil Republicans and/or greedy Wall Streeters get the blame for the feel-good snafu of the generation: lending mortgages to low end deadbeats who couldn't pay it back."

    Indeed. Thank you kindly for posting something that shows just how very important it is for us to rid our government of insensitive, smug, uninformed and bigotted people like yourself. Perhaps if the mortgages weren't structured in a deceptive manner, weren't brokered in a deceptive manner, and the market wasn't falsely inflated by the investment by huge firms in complete and utter fluff...well, then there just MIGHT be a teensy bit of merit to your completely arrogant and out-of-touch argument. Seeing as how that's not the case, we'll all just have to giggle at the damage to your own cause that you do by opening your mouth and spewing such vitriolic filth.

    September 23, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  9. Eric in New Castle

    Palin has ruined McCains chance to be the first president of Socialist America.

    September 23, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  10. Brandon

    "Daily Scandal Palin" can have all the meetings she wants. At the end of the day she's still a Republican partisan clown lying through her teeth with the hope that the American people will be fooled. Not this time.

    September 23, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  11. Julie-Washington State

    This is too much. Why do people think that someone who needs a Leadership Workshop is ready to lead this country.
    Why won't they let her speak to reporters. We really do not know anything about this women but what has been reported without her telling us where she stands on the issues. I just keep asking myself, why don't the Republican party want her to speak for herself...
    If she is elected VP and then possibly take over as President we really will know nothing about this person. That is truly frightening.

    September 23, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  12. Mr. Righteous

    It really scares me that this inexperienced and cocky ex-beauty contestant named has come even this close to the presidency. If she and McCain get elected, then shame on the American people. Consider them applying for the hardest job in the world: He is 72 years old, for Pete's sake, get serious. She has not said one intelligent thing since she got into this race, not one. He is an antique and tied at the hip to the existing debacle called Bush, she is a fly-off-the-handle wingnut who believes in bringing on 'the end' so the 2nd coming and rapture can happen, please get serious.

    September 23, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  13. petena

    The media should make it an everyday issue of MCain protecting her from answering any questions to the press. She DOES NOT ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS FROM NO ONE. She said: "I think I will be ready", "I think I am ready". Well what if YOU ARE NOT AND WON"T BE? Do the right thing and resign.

    September 23, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  14. Clinton Supporter

    oh, please.

    September 23, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  15. WASP Member!!!

    If the fate of our country wasn't riding on this, it would be funny. America should be insulted about this whole thing. The Bush administration is openly pulling strings to help this sorry excuse for a VP!!!!

    September 23, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  16. SENIOR



    September 23, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |

    Thank God, my prayers were answered, someone is giving this woman some "intelligence", maybe he can elevate her IQ so it is somewhere north of her shoe size, now that would be a "breath of fresh air"

    September 23, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  18. Ron

    They are hiding Palin from the Press today because yesterday she had a meltdown. A reporter asked a question and Palin lost it, screaming in a shrill voice about the unfair media. So, no more media please.

    September 23, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  19. Bethie

    Sarah is pretending to be something she's not. All her speeches are well scripted and staged. No Reporters allowed. Need I say more?

    September 23, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  20. Larry

    Florida Loves You Palin,
    Obama is a Harvard Grad and professor so dont worry that he will have to cram.Your girl Palin went through 6 colleges, so I think we all know who is not going to have to cram in some foreign policy schooling.I am sure Palin was cramming in some sessions in on how to pretend and lie to foreigners as she THINKS she is so good at it in America

    September 23, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  21. Fred from San Jose

    After listening to NPR's story on Palin, my 6yr old daughter beginning to say "Thanks but No Thanks" to everything. I asked her why is she doing that. Her reply was simple – it's great response for every question that she has no answer for. I'm glade that Palin is speaking to world leaders and not to my 6 yr old, who can easily pick apart Palin's insincerity.

    September 23, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  22. Mike

    My don't we have short memories! Have the liberals, who LOVE Bill, forgotten that the same things your are saying about Palin were said of him, the lowly Governor of Arkansas, back in 1992, that "his experience in world affairs is limited to breakfast at the International House of Pancakes"?

    Palin will do just fine as VP, and with 4 years of on the job training she will be a shoe-in for President in 2012.

    September 23, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  23. Educated Voter Who Supports Obama

    I guess if you think that the last 8 years have been great for our country, then by all means vote for 4 more years of Rethuglican rule. If you have paid any attention to the debacle in Iraq, the collapse of our economy, or an overall deterioration of the American way of life, there is no way to justify letting the Rethuglicans do 4 more years of damage to our country. If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention. Open your eyes, America! This country needs a new direction!


    September 23, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |

    You repuglicans are hilarious...actually making fun of Tina Fey. lol

    What's the matter? Run out of Dixie Chicks records to burn?

    What could have been a good photo op and publicity stunt (for the real media not just Hannity and Orally) instead turned into another reforendum about Palin's unwillingness to talk to the press and thereby engage in the transparency she supposedly values so much. Her reclusiveness, battles with "truthyness" and her refusal to cooperate with subpoenas in an official investigation just reinforce the majority's belief that America will just get 4 more years of Bush if we elect McCain/Palin.

    Each day the unfavorable views of this woman increase, as the favorable views decrease. Same for McCain. By picking an extreme religious fundamentalist, McCain showed his poor judgment and clearly broadcast that his will not be a bipartisan administration. Just like Bush. The rich and the religious. With us or against us. With us or unpatriotic. Enough of the divisiveness!! Enough of Bush!! Enough of McCain/Gramm's deregulation!! Enough of people who think the earth was created 7,000 years ago!!

    Obama '08!

    September 23, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  25. Adam

    So, it's been almost a month and she hasn't said anything unscripted yet? I want her to do a press conference on foreign policy and take questions from the press for 30 minutes. No prompts, no aids, just her and the reporters.

    I want to hear HER words. I don't think she can do it. I don't think she has a clue. How is this considered "increasing her foreign policy credentials"? This isn't foreign policy at all. This was a quick meet and greet. Foreign policy is the interplay between countries. It involves knowledge of the goals and desires of a culture, the interplay of one culture with another... the history of regions to understand conflicts. She doesn't have that knowledge at all. That takes years to build up.

    Obama would have had to study this sort of thing in order to graduate, plus Biden has actually spent time dealing with this sort of thing in the real world. Even McCain has had to deal with this sort of thing. But Palin?? This is like cramming for a college final the night before. It simply doesn't work.

    September 23, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
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