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. RSP

    If Palin had been campaigning and traveling the world for 2 1/2 years like Obama has, she'd look more "presidential", too! Obama has one year in the Senate. That's not enough. He won't win.

    September 23, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  2. Shrimp Barnicles:Longlsland, NY

    How in the world do you establish a rapport with a foreign leader in less than an hour? Palin should stick to the credentials of seeing Russia from her house. That, I think, is more credible than what she did in NY today.

    She is not fit to run a country. The Iranian prime minister has little regard for women. He doesn't even shake the hands of women.

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

    The leaders wanted to see what a joke she is.

    September 23, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  4. Kay

    Not posting again?

    How will I wear my hair? I am so frightened, where is John? These scary media people might ask me a question.

    September 23, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  5. Todd

    On the job training? For heaven's sake what next?

    September 23, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  6. Fritz

    To Maynard in Hopkins WI: what articals (sic) are you reading? The article which commented on the 29 seconds the press was allowed in the room? and all she could say was "Oh nice" in response to Karzai?
    This lady is a hollow shell. It is a shame that a once-venerable military hero put his own aspirations above that of the country by picking this lady. She may be a very nice person, but she has no business being vice president.

    September 23, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  7. milo

    I hope the brief started with "DON'T USE YAHOO FOR GOVERNMENT EMAILS!"

    September 23, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  8. Andy - Atlanta, GA

    So Admiral, is gmail more secure than yahoo?

    September 23, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  9. Matt



    September 23, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  10. RepublicansHateAmerica

    Why even have an election? Let's just have a lottery! We all get tickets and whoever's number gets picked gets to meet important people an become VP. Give me break, Ice Queen Barbie

    September 23, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  11. JusLaugh

    Stop covering anything that has to do with this fraud until she starts talking to you!

    When exactly was it that the press lost it's nerve?

    September 23, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  12. Billy

    Sorry, not buying it. Palin should work on establishing "a great personal rapport" with the American press and public by answering real questions.

    How many spontaneous questions has Palin answered? One.

    Thanks but no thanks.

    September 23, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  13. Bert57

    Totally expected. Now can the voters please stay the course concerning our nations interests? Voters need to wake up and leave the personal BS to the entertainment nightly news. Clintons are entrenched politicians as is McCain the sidekick to W. They need to leave!

    September 23, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  14. Interested Canadian

    I do not quite understand how someone who is not even a member of the american governement is being presented to these world leaders. Is Biden, who is a member of the American Legislature being afforded the same consideration

    September 23, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  15. Obamamama, chicago

    So Sarah Palin and PM Karazi can exchange newborn stories!

    How relevent!

    Palin maybe could introduce the PM's son into the joys of hockey,

    September 23, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    Is 'victory' in sight in Iraq, as McCain says?

    How can you even begin to define victory when the USA is illegally occupying another country?

    And CNN says whether or not the USA can be victorious is debatable. That is your news source. This country is hosed.

    September 23, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  17. Brendose, Oceanside CA

    So, is this the new "internship program" for Vice President?

    This whole thing has been such a joke........and an insult to the American people.

    Sad thing is........people REALLY support McCain and Palin.

    Isn't it just obvious? If McCain dies, Miss Alaska runner up would be President! WAKE UP AMERICA!!

    September 23, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  18. Sarah Palin "Ready on Day 1-NOT"

    She asked the admiral, "What is it exactly that National Intelligence does?" I wasn't given any notes about that in my Idiot's Guide to Being a VP candidate. And then added, "But, I can see Russia from my house," "is that helpful?"

    September 23, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  19. Victor

    Proving once again she is totally UNQUALIFIED!

    September 23, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  20. JohnLee

    I is nevr seen a pig with lipstick paraded around befores. Most uf the time we's just grab da pig and skin it.

    September 23, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  21. Steve

    I am frankly dumbfounded that Sarah Palin has been selected. I am further dumbfounded that the Republican party has the incredible arrogance to portray this woman as having any credibility what so ever.
    This is pandering to the lowest common denominator. This woman has little or no experience (and no, Republicans, she is not more experienced than Obama.....check her records about her education and her cheerleading and pepsquad...not much there). If you actually believe this person has any viability, you, yourself are about a stupid as she is. Enjoy.

    September 23, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  22. Matt

    @ right turn

    Conan the Delawarian laughs at your frivolous babble! Beware thy spite, lest you feel his smite!

    September 23, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  23. RSP

    The main reason people support Obama is because he went to Harvard? Does every Harvard graduate have common sense and brilliance? No. Neither does Obama. For some reason Obama supporters think that's enough. It's not! Palin has more common sense as a governor of Alaska.

    September 23, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  24. Chuck

    maynard hopkins wi

    Oh shut up Maynard.

    Anyone could meet with these leaders, talk about their kids, share a cup of coffee or whatever and come away saying they did a fantastic job with the same.

    Get a clue will ya.

    September 23, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  25. Lisa (PA)

    Question...Was the First Dude there? You know that he is the shadow governor of Alaska. So I am sure that he was there!!!!

    What happens to the "First Dude" if (God Forbids) she takes office? Will he be present at all of her meetings as well??? Giving her advice?

    Folks this scares the hell out of me!!!!

    Democrats unite!!!!
    Obama and Biden '08

    September 23, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
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