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. IBMMuseum

    Not allowed to campaign on her own? Her husband making calls for her? You got to love Republicans keeping sexism alive and well.

    September 23, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  2. Lexis

    Where McCain went wrong is in not picking out a woman who had a measurable IQ.

    OBAMA/BIDEN in 2008

    September 23, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  3. Daphne

    What is this? "On-the-job-training" for V.P. now?

    September 23, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  4. What A Moron


    Remember the scene in "Places of the Heart", where Sally Field's character (Edna Spalding) had to negotiate with a vile cotton gin owner. That's who Sarah reminds me of, Mrs. Spalding, memorizing what to say to the cotton gin owner, while her hired hand (Mose) had to wait outside.

    It would be even funnier if it weren't serious.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 23, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  5. que viva Chango

    oh yes she was briefed as to where they sell nice lipstick..........i bet she thinks is anchorage...

    she is really such an idiot

    September 23, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  6. Palin the ZOMBIE

    I love how everyone talks for her and she literally never speaks for her self except when she's doing the "Palin Stump", a new dance of words to her Republican children.

    September 23, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  7. Brigitte



    September 23, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  8. brett

    No one is pointing out the fact that when Obama went on his World Tour to meet world leaders cameras where not allowed to tape his converations either. This is the policy every politician uses. Do the research and you would know that. They all do 15 – 30 second photo- opts and then go into private meetings. This is standard.

    September 23, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  9. Leslie, MO

    That's okay, if she won't talk to America, we won't vote for her.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 23, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  10. Lisa

    When it comes time to debate Joe Biden, Sarah will call in sick.

    September 23, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  11. hometowndemocrat

    Gov. Palin,

    Keep up the good work!

    Your just moving Obama closer and closer to the White House!!!

    Many Thanks!

    Obama 08!!!

    September 23, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  12. Rob

    yes , but does she have natural intelligence . the media needs to stop even covering Palin . talking to a foreign leader is not experience , its talking . She's learning–wow .Is she in V.P. school ?

    September 23, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  13. nyobamacan

    This is such a side show. Sarah can pose with foriegn leaders, but can't take a question from the US press. The McCain campaign is afraid to let her speak.

    September 23, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  14. John Smith

    I like this blog because it reflects the intellect of America:

    “Only in Republican America would a black man with a law degree from Harvard, 12 years in politics, four years on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and manager of one of the most impressively flawless and forward thinking presidential campaigns ever not be ready for the presidency while a white female evangelical with 19 months in national politics and a bachelors in journalism is considered ‘ready on day one’.”

    John McCain has actually downplayed the quality of the presidency by chosing a VP with LEGS but no substance beneath!

    September 23, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  15. Trish

    I think these are meetings very important and very necessary for the President and Vice President also. However, I think it was also very important for the Presidential Candidate to choose a VP that had at least a bit of International experience and had met at least some of these Foreign Leaders a good deal before her premature appointment to VP! In Fact, her huge lack of experience has been a problem for me since I first heard her name as the appointed Republican VP in the same sentence! McCain and Palin – Thanks but No Thanks.

    September 23, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  16. Ohio voter


    OBAMA 08

    September 23, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  17. Renee

    Palin belongs with her children,McCain deserves RETIREMENT and Obama definetly is more than Qualified to lead this country.

    September 23, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  18. Joseph, Los Angeles

    Dear CNN and the rest of you media; Why are you still covering this candidate? She won't even talk to you or us. We want to hear about the candidates who wants to talk to us and not at us. Enough with the photo's to. Please...

    September 23, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  19. Jack

    I hope the Director talked slow and didn't use big words otherwise Silly Sarah might misinterpret what she hears and repeat an incorrect story.

    Oh wait, she tells incorrect stories all the time so nobody will know the difference.

    September 23, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  20. 60 yr. old white lady from NEW JERSEY for OBAMA




    NO WAY, NO HOW, NOT EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    OBAMA/BIDEN '08 '12

    September 23, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  21. Stop The Madness! - DALLAS, TEXAS

    This is too much!

    Now I have about had it with "you" people making a mockery out of Obama being a community organizer. You need to read up on the FULL scope of what makes him qualified. I'm through with CNN! Tell the *bleepin" truth!!! You yourselves should not put up with such continued insults to your intelligence!!

    You cannot seriously sit here and tell me this woman is now fully educated on Foreign Policy after a brief visit. Hey guess what? I'm going to go read a map, I think I see Mexico from my backyard!

    I'm back and I'm running for Governor. I'm so freakin happy it's that easy in America. Take her off of the news!! She is not worthy. Stupid

    September 23, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  22. Laremy, MD

    Folks this is serious. There are some crazzies out there who will vote for this gimmick. If she get's in, there will be fundamental changes made to the Constitution. It will be called the Sarah Palin Amendment.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 23, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  23. ZANE

    I think the Republicans know this ticket is a disaster. They're just trying to make it entertaining now. A comdy of errors.

    September 23, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  24. Mark C. Eades

    These "meetings" are a joke, and so is Sarah Palin.

    September 23, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  25. Glenda

    Palin and foreign leaders, oh my ........... she has to ask her husband to sit in on meetings in her office so that she can understand what is being said. Did Todd give her advise along with her advisers, Kissenger and the others, I listened to Hillary this morning on television and said to myself, how can American Women compare this amazing woman to Palin, who has no clue as to the world real Politics.

    I cringe at the state of the USA if McCain is elected, we will be like Iran, the religious right ruling our country and the separation of church and state a thing of the past.

    Wake up AMERICA

    September 23, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
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