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. Kris K.

    I'll take two real American heroes over Abbott and Costello anyday. (No offense intended to Bud and Lou). All this hate directed towards Palin is stupid, If these hateful attacks were directed towards Obama, you'd be crying like babies. At least she didn't go to Iraq and beg their leaders not to approve the security agreement until Bush left office like BHO did. That was treason, pure and simple....

    September 23, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  2. Denver, CO

    We're supposed to trust McCain's judgement when the first decision he makes is to pick Sarah Palin as his running mate. HELL NO!

    September 23, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  3. Roland

    I bet it included a color-coded map.

    September 23, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  4. The View from here

    Hopefully he told her to keep her mouth shut.

    September 23, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  5. Sharon

    Yes, Sarah Palin does have me scared. Scared to death !!!!
    God help us if McCain/Palin actually gets voted in.

    September 23, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  6. Bill

    At least Palin won't need a teleprompter to meet with foreign leaders. Oh that's right Obama didn't use one when he went abroad. He just uses one now so he doesn't say things equally as stupid as Joe Biden's gaffes. As for Palin, people knocking her, are just upset that Obama has some real competition in this election. Unlike the other elections that Obama basically won by default (his Illinois senate and US senate races were against opponents who were eliminated by faulty petitions and sex charges). These Palin haters thought Obama was sure thing and would easily skate into the White House. But when McCain picked Palin, Obama's sure thing became less sure. That is why all this negative trash talk about Palin.

    September 23, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  7. M Smith

    McCain rattles on about the "old boys" while Sarah Palin sits down with Henry Kissinger, anyone find this ironic?

    September 23, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  8. KMAN

    How insane or mindless does someone need to be to actually try and convince others that Sarah Palin is ready to be a heart-beat away from the most difficult job in the world as the backup to the oldest person to potentially ever take office as our president? His multiple melanomas should be enough to give any rational-minded adult due pause!

    September 23, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  9. E.C.Coleman


    September 23, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  10. Marc

    “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.

    "Intuitively understands"? really, wouldn't anyone understand this "fundamentally", are we to be impressed that someone would realize that relationships with these governments is important? When did everyone become so stupid?

    September 23, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  11. International Observer

    This is my third time to visit this political ticker since Hillary ended her presidential bid. It is interesting to note that the tone (negative) of most comments is similar except that Hillary's name has been replaced by Palin's name. It seems there are people who are there 24hrs waiting for the ticker headlines (seems like this is their full-time job). Judging from the language used in these comments, there is a clear common denominator between the primary and general elections. Also, from what I have read from these comment since the beginning of this election season (primary&general), it seems that if you want to become a Democrat, then you need to believe in the following principles:
    -It is bad to be successful
    -It is bad to be rich
    -It is bad to own more than one house/car
    -It is OK to ridicule strong, intelligent and successful women
    -It is OK to disrespect senior citizens
    As an international observer, I won't go for these principles

    September 23, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  12. Peter

    CNN and the media should stop covering Palin until she starts talking to VOTERS and the media

    September 23, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  13. jaksr

    Let's see. . . She won't answer reporters questions. She won't answer investigators questions. My guess is she won't answer to the American people either

    September 23, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  14. Sooze

    Gidget goes to New York and is now ready to talk story with the World Leaders. The Geezer figures now she is ready to go! Good Lord Help us!

    September 23, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  15. Paris

    Please stop using Obama’s senate experience to justify his thin resume.
    He has been in the senate for 3 years and he has been running for the office for 2 years now!!! And he 95% he voted present………

    September 23, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  16. Michael

    My pet pig just ran upstairs, put on some lipstick and is doing a victory jig over the coming Obama landslide. I swear to god if by some huge accident of history, she were to become Veep, I'd move to Russia, just in sight of Alaska–gotta keep up my credentials, ya know.

    September 23, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  17. DAISY

    Please compare McCain and Obama's accomplishment and their time in the political arena. You can serve your country in many different ways not just in the military (my brother and relatives was/is in the military). Obama graduated at Harvard Com laude and McCain didn't at Naval Academy. Obama was a former professor.

    September 23, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  18. Paula, Los Angeles CA

    Sarah Palin is NOT READY to be in next in line for the commander-in-chief position! WAKE UP PEOPLE!!

    I used to think America was the premier nation of intelligence in the world... I no longer think that. It is obvious that many folks out there are as stupid as the current idiot in office!! I suppose our leader (president) really is a reflection of the people! I just HOPE that more Americans are smarter on election day!



    September 23, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  19. Jane CO Battleground

    I was sitting on the fence – but all of a sudden, I'm thinking – VP candidates and a person WHO COULD BE PRESIDENT shouldn't HAVE to be briefed. I have decided, to move Left. More Experience and more exposure – PLUS, the calm and true diplomacy in decision making = good judgement and excellent way with talking with people – all the PEOPLE all the WORLD – I'm moving Left – I was waiting for debates – but....seriously – My republicans have let me down with not opening the door to Ms. Palin. I have to go over.

    September 23, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  20. Dal CA

    Looks like Joe will be in trouble from the hockey mum with a lipstick on the hockey stick.
    We will see what happens at that debate.
    The press was not allowed to interview or even ask Plain any questions on what she learnt from her fireside chats with some of the leaders.
    Karzai well he is just a puppet and had not been able to forcefully ask US to really look for Al Queda or Bin Laden. All the forces are doing is reacting to the attacks from Al Queda.
    May be she should give her special tricks she uses to hunt the wolves using the helicopters. Wolves do not have guns or missiles to boot. Lets see if the wolves have those will she be able to hunt using the helicopters.

    September 23, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  21. Sue in MI

    "These are relationships she intuitively understands are important.." what? Now we're counting on her intuitive understanding of issues? I can just imagine what I'd be hearing if Obama or Biden relied on intuition to get anything done. And any hick from anywhere would understand that meeting with a head of state might be "important."
    Jealous, Marcus? Not hardly. This is a woman who lies about earmarks, the bridge, the trooper, and her management style, which seems to be anything but polite and welcoming. You;d better do some research before you jump on her bandwagon, and don't ever disagree with her politics, because she'll take it as a personal attack and fire you.
    Obama is already respected and known in Europe, and will do just fine with heads of state anywhere. He won't need to have a crash course in geography and learn their names (I'm sure that's what they were doing this AM). He is already aware of world events and affairs-she is quick to tout Alaska as her knowledge base...she had never heard of the Bush doctrine, for God's sake. Can you imagine her thoughts on the current crisis? Does she have any?Biden will quickly show who's ready for the White House next week.
    Had that woman been accessible to the press AT ALL everyone would see her for the fluff she is. I would be worried about that, can you accept her at face value? Are you that determined that Republicans deserve another chance to bring down America completely, should Bush fail to do it before January?

    September 23, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  22. LBJ

    I'm sorry Mr. Clinton – Ms. Palin is simply too green. She may be a good mom, a good Christian, a cut-throat polititian – but I can't vote for her. I just can't.

    September 23, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  23. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Palin has a journalism degree from Idaho and experience running Alaska and doesn't know squat about the Bush Doctrine. Impressive, most impressive!!! NOT!!!!!!!!!!

    September 23, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  24. Kyle, IN

    My friend from Germany just called and said she can't believe America would pick someone who doesn't seem to know a lot about politics for the VP.

    I explained to her that John McCain is an old fart who has seen better days.

    September 23, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  25. Roger from CA

    I'm concerned that she will tell everything she learned in the conference to "her guy" Todd. He seems to be copied on all her state business emails.

    September 23, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
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