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. Jesus Praising & Freedom Loving Patriot

    In hopes of some intelligence rubbing off.

    September 23, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  2. Tom Denver

    Foreign policy speed dating. Hilarious!

    September 23, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  3. Brian

    Wow...look at all the experience! Hey, tomorrow morning I'm taking a 3 hour course on conducting heart surgery...who wants to be my first patient tomorrow afternoon? I'll be all experienced and ready then!

    September 23, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  4. Domestic Abuse

    Can someone check the clock? Palin's 15 minutes of "fame" has long expired.
    McCain's consideration as a serious presidential candidate evaporated the moment this "reformer" was added to the ticket.

    September 23, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  5. McCain rocks


    September 23, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  6. Sammy

    They are providing counsel to Palin in national defense and foreign affairs.

    She needs couneling alright.

    September 23, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  7. California Gold

    Bet she tried to break the ice with a "let's play Where In The World is Carmen San Diego" followed by her rendition of "The Alphabet" to appeal to his domestic sensibilities. Where did you guys dig up this woman? LMBO!

    September 23, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  8. Janet Senior W.F. American in Canada

    That was the challenge of their day! ECK!

    September 23, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  9. Anne

    It doesn't seem fair that taxpayer money should be used to brief the VP job candidate so she can attempt to make herself competitive. I guess congress is too busy arguing about how to use taxpayers money to rescue multi billion dollar companies without helping the individual homeowners any more than necessary to notice.

    September 23, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  10. Mary (Texas)

    Governor Palin – we are sooooo proud of you. You go girl – help us out – we can not be left with the idiot "OBAMA". If OBAMA should win -we will all be applying for foods stamps!!! The United States will go down the tubes!!

    September 23, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  11. CTSadler

    Karzai: I have one child, seven months old
    Palin: Children! That's what I do best! I have a five month old!
    Karzai: That's so lovely.
    Palin: Oh yes, they're little bundles of joy.
    Karzai: Yes... yes they are.
    Palin: Yes... Uh, who are you?
    Karzai: I'm president of Afghanistan
    Palin: That's by Russia, right?
    Karzai: Yes. They invaded us.
    Palin: I know ALL about that. I can see Russian from my window.
    Karzai: Yes...

    End of meeting

    September 23, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  12. Tenisha

    I feel she is attempting a cram session on foreign policies. It takes more than a couple of photo ops to make you experienced and "ready".

    September 23, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  13. Wes

    This is a bad dream right? Don't tell me, we are actually watching a Kubrick movie and it will all end soon.

    This is completely absurd. How can anyone be so gullible as to believe speed dating a handful of foreign heads of state while being chaperoned by handlers with 29 seconds of press coverage means anything more than what it appears to be on the surface, a ruse.

    I can just hear her, Oh yes FARC, they sound just like the AIP we have up in Alaska!

    September 23, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  14. george j

    Poor guy. Lotsa luck.

    September 23, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  15. blue-kite

    Markus... its much worse that that...
    Mrs honest-I've-been-to-Ireland-too (as if visiting the emerald isle was some kind of foreign policy achievement) but-not-really-visit... first of all she would have been told that there are actually OTHER countries and some of them are not necessarily something to BOMB.

    What can I say... Get out the Vote!

    September 23, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  16. Nadine

    Enough of Sarah Palin! McCain was not thinking of America when he chosed this woman & all her baggage. He's desperate! and will do anything, I do mean anything to get elected. McCain is another Bush, you see who's putting out the negative ads! This economic in ruins at the hands of Bush/Cheney. Don't you see why Bush and Cheney are in hiding!

    September 23, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  17. pat C.

    PATHETIC! palin is a fraud and an obama wanta be.
    mccain is an idiot and has another idiot as his running mate.

    September 23, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  18. canadian

    Its interesting that the only qualifications necessary to become a V.P of the US is to get a university degree in any field. I cannot become V.P at my work unless I have a masters degree. Maybe I will run for office instead...

    September 23, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  19. grant

    Will she be killed for knowing NSA secrets after they lose the election?

    September 23, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  20. aware


    Governor Palin has an intuitive gift of listening and relating to people. Her political sense is inherent!

    This makes her the best candidate America has had in a very long time! 🙂

    Bill Clinton had some of Palin's gifts when he came on the national scene as a young governor from little old Arkansas!

    Governor Palin is this generation's Margaret Thatcher! Don't underestimate her!

    September 23, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  21. Daniel va

    When you are an idiot like Palin who needs five years with five different colleges for nothing and NO DIPLOME ... Wow that is call progress....

    September 23, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  22. blueblueblue

    This is really appaling; I'm almost speechless. This has to stop. I just don't even know what's going on anymore; is this a farce we're all living in? It must be!!!!

    September 23, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  23. Doug

    Lou Dobbs is running down the "liberal media's attacks on Palin LOL

    September 23, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  24. Bill Charlotte,NC

    I hope they were able to get it on a flash card.

    Is this not incredible? The person "ready" to be veep is being briefed by everyone on every subject and she is being kept is a protective bubble. This is nuts!

    September 23, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  25. Wizard

    It is puzzling to see how some of the National Security issues get discussed with a "soon to be vice president" by the National Intelligence. Director. I am sure there is a mandate that limits the delivery of information to outsiders, even if they are contesting to become the President. Will the NID be interested in briefing an Independent candidate for president if he requests such a briefing? Won't he be cited some absurd national security clause that prevents the NID from meeting with him. But here is a "to be elected" candidate (that too for the post of a VP) getting first hand briefing from the NID. This would amount to an unfair advantage offered to the Republican candidate just because the NID is now working for a Republican administration. What the Republicans are trying to achieve here is absolutely mind boggling and the judiciary has kept mum over this unacceptable breach of confidence that is vested on the NID by the people of the United States. It would be interesting to see if someone can investigate what powers does the NID have and what is the discretion applied in this process for sharing some of the vital information pertaining to the national security?

    It takes a gazillion background & security checks even for a CIA analyst to access this information. But somehow Ms. Palin lands the opportunity to get this personal briefing without having to wait for the security clearance. If some "Joe Six Pack" files an application to run for the President, can he get the same "personal briefing from the NID"? Can someone explain to be where is the fairness in this process?

    September 23, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
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