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. Let's Hear From The Lady

    Any voter that is critically considering the Palin / McCain ticket will likely NOT BE IMIPRESSED by the fact that the GOP has arranged for a “window dressing” photo opportunities with some international leaders while they were in New York for a United Nations meeting.

    Now, if Ms. Palin gives a major foreign policy speech and holds an open press conference after her meetings, we might hear something of substance that will favorably influence us to vote for her. Otherwise, please save the energy & oxygen that would be consumed by this spectacle.

    I’ll be interested in the opinions of these international ministers … did Palin say anything of substance to them?

    For example, we know that on Sunday, a British government minister referred to Sarah Palin as a “horrendous” choice as a leader on the world stage. If Governor Palin won’t talk to the US press, let the US press interview those she sat with! It’s the next best thing.

    September 23, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  2. I said Thanks, but No Thanks to another 4 years of g.o.p. corruption, arrogance and incompetence

    Sarah's cramming for her debate "test". Does she remind you more of bush or cheney?

    September 23, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  3. Micheal shoemac

    Im sorry ... am i the only one that thinks that this is crazy.....

    If they are going to make a VP.... then i can be the vice president...

    This is crazy..........


    September 23, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  4. You must be joking

    She's a dope...whatever

    September 23, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  5. bigmike31313

    Wow, a VP candidate that can speak for themselves… what a concept! but we havent heard from her what is the McCain group scared of

    September 23, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  6. NW Dem

    This Dem is excited to have a woman finally representing all of us. It's about time.

    Too bad Obama didn't have the judgement necessary to nominate Hillary!

    September 23, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  7. Chuck

    Study Sessions!!!!! My God. We are only a few weeeks from the election and a short time (if McCain were to win) where she would be one heart beat away from the Presdiency. Study Sessions! Oh my God.

    September 23, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  8. Jeff DuShane

    I wonder, will Super Sarah have a surrogate speak for her at the upcoming debate as well? This whole campaign is showing us all that we need to take back our political system....The government is of the people, by the people and for the people. Yet we can never ask a person who intends to sit a heartbeat away from the most powerful position in the world any questions, or hear anything more from her than the same stump speech? Obama/Biden '08

    Then we need to talk about SERIOUS election policy reform!

    September 23, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  9. Donna from Colorado Springs

    Why is Palin getting such preferential treatment concerning these meetings at the U.N.? Why would she meet with someone before the Secretary of State would? Just who does she think she is?She's a little nobody who wants the whole ball of wax. What typical republican arrogance she has.

    September 23, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  10. smokesignals

    In other words.....wasting their time.

    What an incredible joke.

    September 23, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  11. Brian

    This briefing involved Palin and a map of the Middle East, I'm sure. Oh, and maybe some crayons so she could write the names down for better memory.

    September 23, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  12. S. Boatman

    In Her Briefing She Was Told Not To Speak About Worldly Things To Foreign Leaders!

    September 23, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  13. Darrell

    After researching and reading all the facts and records from her days in Wasilla this is just laughable.There was such a disasterous mess with so many implications on record in Wasilla that it is truly amazing to think she could be the next President.She left a trail of financial problems,enviromental problems, and the people she wickedly and cold heartedly stepped on and threw under the bus is amazing.Thank God for the truth being available for those who want to find it.If she can't run a town of 5000 it baffles the mind how she could be VP.Just google Salon and Palin if you want to see the path of destruction she did to 5000 people.After reading all of that go back to 60 minutes where McCain said she is absolutley ready to be President then get out you puke bucket.

    September 23, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  14. maynard hopkins wi

    Fom the articals I have read.Palin did a fantastic job with the dignitaries that came to meet with her. It proves that by talking and listening to other leaders the walls on the national level can be broken down and the UNITED STATES can move in a positive forward movement.

    September 23, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  15. Sarah Palin Is an "Idiot"

    She didn't discuss anything in particular, because it wasn't about taking care of family or fishing or lying about a $40 billion proposed gas line in Alaska that may never see the light of day any way.

    September 23, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  16. Kristen

    Why is this news? She lets 2 members of hand-picked press watch her talk to them for 15 seconds. Don't give her any coverage on this CNN.

    September 23, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  17. lisa

    Nothing McCain or McPalin does seems to be normal. The uses whatever, whenever, however to get what they want. McCain pick the perfect VP she is so much like McCain.

    September 23, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  18. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    So she established "great personal rapport" with Karzai and Uribe...hmmm, just like Bush said when he "looked into Putin's eyes?"

    September 23, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  19. Randy from IA

    Just a quick reminder. Before everyone gets on the "this is not expierence bandwagon". Think about how many times Barack "the most high" Obama has met with the DNI. As well as the huge double standard of Palin meeting with a couple of foreign leaders meaning nothing, but when Barak "the supreme most highest of highs" Obama went on his world tour to meet a few foreign leaders was the best thing in the world, look at the expierence he is getting. I love how libs talk out of not just both sides of thier mouths, but both ends of the body as well.

    September 23, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  20. RSP

    Now this is cool. Just because Sarah Palin has been in Alaska all this time doesn't mean she's unintelligent. She doesn't have much foreign policy experience, like Obama doesn't, but she will learn. Dispite the elitism of the east coasters like Tina Fey, she has the potential to be a great leader. She will bring female attributes like compromise from a position of strength. She will make a great VP, and FINALLY, A WOMAN IN THE WHITE HOUSE!

    September 23, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  21. Former Dem voting McCain

    Well, it sounds like she's doing what any candidate would do. Meet leaders. Discuss topics.

    And look. The world didn't end.

    She's doing fine.

    September 23, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  22. Sarah Palin Is an "Idiot"

    Go back to Alaska!

    September 23, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  23. McPalin, Houston TX

    Did she talk to the press? I rest my case!!!!! Don’t believe the hype

    September 23, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  24. Susan

    She's not smart enough to even be in this arena. Pitbull???! Please – J.O.K.E. more like.

    September 23, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  25. uhhhh John who?

    These leaders met with palin only because the thought she was Tina Fey.

    September 23, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
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