US Election 2016: Sarah Palin endorses Donald Trump as first vote looms

Ames, Iowa: Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has received a key endorsement from controversial conservative heavyweight Sarah Palin.

It gives the billionaire businessman a potential boost with some voters less than two weeks before voting begins with the Iowa caucuses.

"I am greatly honoured to receive Sarah's endorsement," Trump said, announcing the support of the former Alaska governor and former running mate of Senator John McCain in his 2008 bid for the White House.

"She is a friend and a high-quality person whom I have great respect for. I am proud to have her support."

Ms Palin is scheduled to appear with Mr Trump at a rally at an agricultural centre at the Iowa State University and will also join him at two events on Wednesday, including a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.


The endorsement comes less than two weeks ahead of the critical lead-off Iowa caucus, where Mr Trump is locked in a dead heat with Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

The Trump campaign described Ms Palin as a conservative who "helped launch the careers of several key future leaders of the Republican Party and conservative movement".

Senator Cruz was quotes as once saying he "would not be in the United States Senate were it not for Gov Sarah Palin ... She can pick winners".

Like Mr Trump, Ms Palin is no stranger to controversy. In an earlier endorsement of Mr Trump's immigration stance, she said immigrants in the US should "speak American".