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. Joseph

    Did she weep?

    September 23, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  2. MD, TX

    Dear EDW,

    Before you reiterate that bs, I would put some time into thinking about your candidate. Don't be intimidated by Harvard grads.

    September 23, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  3. derrick bowser

    i am wondering if the media are giving this much attention to Biden? the answer is no like i have said in prev post it is like watching the life and times of Sarah Palin.The difference between the two is very simple he doesnt have to be set up for photo ops because he has known these men for years already.

    September 23, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  4. DB

    We only have Biegun's word on any of this...why can't she have a conversation with the press and say what she talked about? I'm sorry but if this is supposed to make me feel better about this woman, it makes me feel even more worried. Why can't she speak for herself????? Everyone else in this campaign does and even when they make mistakes we learn something. She is a joke.

    September 23, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  5. No to Palin

    So basically she asked Kissinger questions about Rusia (a country she seems to be obsessed with, probably because she can see it from Alaska), talked with the Afghanistan President about sending troops to Afghanistan (which was what Obama has been saying!) and listened to security issues without comment by Columbia's President.

    Gee, why did she need National Security briefing? That is something my 13 years old son could have managed, although he CAN'T see Russia from his house since it is in California!

    September 23, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  6. David

    Why is the press being an accomplice to this dumbing down of the political process. It is clear that Palin cnan't communicate on the tough issues this country is facing. Why do we have a spokesperson saying how the meetings went. Why can't Palin meet with the press and give the American people her take on the meetings. After all she is asking for our vote and we're asking to know more about her ability to handle tough questions on the tough issues facing us as a nation. The press should stop reporting on her if the campaign keeps het quaratine from the press and the public.

    September 23, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  7. Emily

    We are getting tired of the Palin appearance coverage. Let's talk about issues and policies, not about who and what meetings. We know she is smart and capable to talk to foreign leaders based on prepared talk points – if Bush can do it, who can not? We just do not agree with her world view about women, and we are tired that she keeps her puppet status about economic and foreign policies – what are her policies?

    September 23, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  8. FactCheck

    > 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.

    Weren't you Repugnicans calling Obama an appeaser for wanting to exactly this? Yeah, that's what I thought.

    September 23, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  9. right turn

    More qualified than Obama, and a lot better looking!!

    Let's see, Obama first big decision was his VP... and what a mistake that was! And people want this guy to be president?

    Obama, not ready for anything really...okay maybe a community organizer...

    September 23, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  10. Dude

    PUMAs keep crying.... We have SARAH now.......

    September 23, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  11. Rob Diaz

    Whew... good thing she is studying. Hopefully in two years she will be as qualified in geopolitics as a sophomore poli-sci major.

    September 23, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  12. Long-Time Republican for Obama - for now.

    I bet she got a special "Cliff Notes" version using small words.

    Those of you claiming she'll be a "great leader" – you are completely full of it. There is no evidence to suggest she'll be anything more than a political punchline come November 5th.

    September 23, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  13. Maureen, Newman California

    Oh what, so now she is 'intelligent'?

    September 23, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  14. Carole a Proud Republican for Palin

    How will I wear my hair for the VP Debate? VP Barbie look? Where is John? I am so scared here by myself!!!!!!!!!!!!11

    September 23, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  15. cecil

    We Wouldn't Know. "What The Big Secret"
    Just A Pull String Doll. What A Double Standard.
    McCain Camp Treating Her Like Some Rare Jewel.
    Poor VP Choice.

    September 23, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  16. Louis

    After one whole day of "Sarah's Excellent Adventure" meeting foreign leaders, Americans can now sleep easy knowing she might be a heart beat from the Presidency.

    September 23, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  17. Jentry

    Sarah is pretending to be something she's not. All her speeches are well scripted and staged. No reporters allowed. Need I say more?

    September 23, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  18. MB

    Why is Gov. Palin getting intelligence briefings? Does she have the necessary security clearances in order to obtain this information?
    Has she had a background investigation completed yet? I'm very concerned.

    September 23, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  19. bill


    September 23, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  20. Sarah Palin and African Americans in Alaska

    So, you ask how does Palin do it? Here is the answer from her comrads in Alaska.....

    "Palin has spent little time in Juneau, rarely coming to the state capital except when the Legislature was in session, and sometimes not even then. During a recent special session called by Palin herself, she faced criticism from several legislators for not showing up personally to push for her agenda. Someone at the Capitol even printed up buttons asking, ‘Where’s Sarah?’

    She doesn' show up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Any real mother with children and a new bably would have known this.

    September 23, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  21. Fraud sniffer

    If Caribou Barbie were a Democrat the Bush Administration would have laughed out loud at such a request for valuable time. I think even they are alarmed at McCain's terrible judgement in picking the Wasilla Hillbillies.

    We can't afford to gamble on having this woman be our president.

    September 23, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  22. Ex-Republican for Obama

    In other words: She was wanting to invade Russia for invading Georgia...until she realised Georgia was a different country that Rick Davies is a big patriot of, but a firm traitor of the USA.

    She wants to invade ALL countries. These people had to set her down and inform her she was an IDIOT!

    September 23, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  23. tedious898

    Rick said: September 23rd, 2008 5:37 pm ET

    Whatever you do Admiral, do not brief Obama and Biden on our national security secrets. Those two nitwits have no business knowing any national security secrets

    Rick = I D I O T !

    Biden and Obama are on the Foreign Intelligence Committee.

    What a complete baffoon! I'd bet you're voting for McCain / Palin....birds of a dummy always stick together.

    September 23, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  24. Susan

    Right Turn: And what decision McCain made? to pander the woman?

    Guess what... We are NOT THAT STUPID.

    September 23, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  25. concern

    John MCcain should be ashame of hisself for putting the USA in a situation that could destroy The USA with his pick of VP Palin.

    In this age of nukes!!

    The whole world is afrid. Heart beat away!!

    September 23, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
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