Washington: Sarah Palin accused President Barack Obama of ignoring service veterans after it emerged her former soldier son had been arrested on domestic violence charges.
The former vice-presidential candidate returned to the political spotlight on Tuesday when she threw her weight behind Donald Trump's White House campaign at a rally in Iowa.
But she was soon embroiled in controversy when the charges against her 26-year-old son, who served in Iraq, emerged.
Track Palin is accused of punching his girlfriend in the face and threatening her with an assault rifle in an incident Mrs Palin suggested was due to post-traumatic stress disorder.
Discussing the charges against her son for the first time at a rally for Mr Trump, Mrs Palin seized the opportunity to attack what she called Mr Obama's lack of "respect" for military veterans.
"My son, like so many others, they come back a bit different, they come back hardened, they come back wondering if there is that respect for what it is that their fellow soldiers and airmen and every other member of the military so sacrificially have given to this country," Mrs Palin said.
"It starts from the top," she added. "It comes from our own President, when they have to look at him and wonder – do you know what we go through, do you know what we're trying to do to secure America and to secure the freedoms that have been bequeathed us?"
Mrs Palin did not make a scheduled appearance at a rally for Mr Trump earlier in the day, leading to speculation that he was distancing himself from her, or that she had left the campaign trail to deal with her son's arrest.
But she was back at the Republican front runner's side in Oklahoma on Tuesday night.
Mr Trump, for his part, thanked the British people for "sticking up" for him during the bid to ban him from Britain over his comments about Muslims, insisting that the majority back his stance.
In Mr Trump's opinion, British politicians and the media "really made a big deal about it", but most Britons were supportive of his call to bar Muslims from entering the US, he maintained. His team had received "thousands and thousands" of messages saying "you are so right", he said.
The debate was triggered after a petition to ban Mr Trump – circulated after he called for a "total and complete shutdown" of Muslims entering the US – attracted more than 570,000 signatures.
MPs stood in turn to call Mr Trump a "buffoon", "demagogue" and "wazzock", but broadly opposed banning him from Britain.
The billionaire property developer-turned-politician did concede that he was "sort of surprised" that the petition garnered so many signatures. He insisted, however, that his supporters far outnumbered those who had backed the move.
"I have, you know, between Twitter and Facebook and other things, I have like 11 or 12 million people."
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