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. Laura from Northern California

    Gotta Love on the job training! Is there a quiz afterward.....? I didn't think so.

    Go Obama/Biden!

    September 23, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  2. Elle

    McBarbie does Foreign Policy.

    Focus on Joe Biden please. As a VP he and Senator Richard Lugar (a Republican) have worked togther in this area for years. Biden's knowledge and experience in Foreign Policy make Palins look as ridiculous as she is.

    September 23, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  3. Democraticyear2008

    How is she going to retain all this information, this is the lady who change school six time in college, she is not bright a woman.

    September 23, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  4. Matt

    Well, it's not like one short debriefing means she's suddenly educated and informed and can make good judgments about foreign policy. This is all nonsense, smoke and mirrors, hiding the ball, and big fat snow job.

    No matter...Conan the Delawarian shall destroy Evil Smurfette in due course.

    By the way, nobody believes the hearsay you big jerks. Of course her campaign handlers are going to say "blah blah blah she was wonderful and knows all abou tthis stuff blah blah." McCain's campaign should have let the press in and we shouldn't let them undo it by now printing SECOND HAND accounts of her speed dates as if they are truth.

    September 23, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  5. Steve A. , New Braunfels , Texas

    Has she already won! The press is sure acting like it, not for me , I'm not rich enough to be a republican, Obama 08---

    September 23, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  6. Accountant Guy

    What a joke!! This is pathetic, now people can see how unprepared this woman is to be VP. Maybe she should stick to staring at Russia from her house!!

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 23, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  7. Jorge Catillo

    I actually think it's unethical for Senator McCain to pick Sarah Palin as a running mate to represent the United States in the world. She is an individual who will be expected to negotiate in multilingual multicultural political affairs without foreign diplomatic experience. I say shame on John McCain for picking her as a running mate and shame on her for taking advantage of his need to win. Please note, this statement does not even take into consideration the Iraq war, Afghanistan, the economy, healthcare costs, immigration issues, drug and mental health issues as well many unjust treatment to lower social economic individuals. I encourage individuals to take a good look at the national and world implications involved. Then ask themselves, would I feel secure it for some unfortunate reason Sarah Palin was in charge. But Don't ask that after the fact ask yourself that before it is too late!!!!!!!!!!

    September 23, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  8. Frank

    I heard that he had to explain that against common believe 'moose' and 'polar bears' are actually not considered a national security threat – and 'NO' we actually don't think she would be able to nuke some Muslim countries for the fun of it.
    Also, McConnell asked Palin about the latest intelligence findings with regard to what Palin saw happening in Russia (from her window at her house).

    September 23, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  9. Chris

    I CANNOT wait for the Vice Presidential Candidates' Debate. Biden is going to gut her dry.

    September 23, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  10. The Watcher

    The whole palin things is a circus! I don't know what to say.
    Now she has experience in foreign relation because she took a picture with some other president....WoooW!!!!

    September 23, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  11. How can I get some of the good liberal PR??

    Man, I'm loving the barking moonbats on the Ticker today. I mean, I want to know who's been doing the PR job for the Democrats, because the definately got their money's worth. These PR specialists rival David Copperfield and even Hoodini.

    Jimmy Carter's Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, and Clinton's 1995 bolstering of the law, coupled with the contortionist accounting practices of Fannie and Freddie (both Dem led) are THE very reasons for the housing/banking meltdown.

    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.

    Folks, banks don't lend money to people who can't pay it back... that is, they don't if their arms aren't being twisted by social engineering do-gooder liberals. Liberals are always generous with other people's money.

    Dismantle Fannie and Freddie now!

    September 23, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  12. Andy - Atlanta, GA

    FARC guerillas? We use moose instead!

    September 23, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  13. kayla


    September 23, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  14. Former Dem voting McCain

    Obama did the same thing – only his "trip" took him to Germany.

    Clinton herself was making the same argument about Obama months ago.

    You guys are the ones who need to wake up.

    Palin is doing just fine.

    September 23, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  15. MD, TX

    Good that she got a proper briefing rather than Obama's briefing on his European vacation from

    McCain / Palin

    September 23, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  16. jfs Memhis, Tn

    I have no doubt that it was BRIEF. Not sure that we are dealing with a rocket scientists here ????? I hope that the debate in several weeks will prove me wrong............but not counting on any surprises.

    September 23, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  17. Kristen

    Oh yeah, my favorite Palin "foreign policy" factoid is that until late last week, she didn't know the president of Iran was Ahmadimajad instead of Akmedimajad. She doesn't want to talk to him, doesn't know his name, has never been to Iran (or Iraq that dirty liar), probably couldn't point to Iran on a map, but based on her ABC interview, she knows she wants to start a war with them. I don't think she could explain why. Waiting for the GOP to call me sexist . . .

    September 23, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  18. Kelby from Houston, TX

    There is no way any member of the press is going to get to this Palin. Do they really think that they can win using this tactic?

    September 23, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  19. FactCheck

    So let me get this straight... she meets with foreign leaders a mere few days before the national VP debate, the meetings are closed to the media (with the exception of a 29 second window) and then we are to believe HER adviser on how well everything went?? This would make a great plot for the next "Weekend at Bernies" movie franchise.

    September 23, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  20. RSP

    Obama has been campaigning for 2 1/2 years!!!! He has made himself look "presidential" for months! Palin has had a couple of weeks. Give her a break! what has Obama done in 2 1/2 years beside traveling around trying to look like he has the chops to be president? Nothing. 3 years as a community organizer and one year in the Senate is not going to cut it. The Obama supporters who flood this CNN blog need to find something better to do with their lives than criticize McCain and Palin.

    September 23, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  21. Canadians4Obama-Biden

    OMG...All over sudden Sarah Palin woke up this morning sounding intelligent and that is the reason why there was a "mix-up" with the media not being allowed in these meetings.

    September 23, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  22. Beverly, NYC

    Poor baby looks shell shocked, now that reality of what she doesn't know is setting in.

    September 23, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  23. David Orbach, New York, NY

    Sarah certainly "intuits" a great deal of critically important things.

    September 23, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  24. Felly

    Palin is all legs with no substance.

    September 23, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  25. claudia dick

    this is more than a joke .or did everyone forget how mcCain put up a clock when obama did not visit iraq. thes people want to have it both ways.

    September 23, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
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