John McCain not 'taking sides' after Sarah Palin backs Trump

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Palin Endorses Trump for President

John McCain will sit this one out.

The man who first gave Sarah Palin a starring national role in August 2008 will try to avoid getting involved in the Trump endorsement storyline -- for now, at least.

"Senator McCain has great respect and appreciation for Governor Palin," a senior aide told NBC News. "As he has said since Senator [Lindsey] Graham exited the race, he will not be taking sides and endorsing a primary candidate at this point in the race."

SEE MORE: Sarah Palin endorses Donald Trump for president

McCain has been publicly supportive of Palin through all the attention and controversy in recent years but they keep some distance. He still credits her with exciting the conservative base and boosting fundraising for their White House bid.

Palin campaigned for McCain's 2010 Senate re-election and has done her part to blunt conservative attacks against him even though they moved on to different paths within the Republican Party.

See more of Palin's endorsement of Trump:

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Sarah Palin endorses Donald Trump
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John McCain not 'taking sides' after Sarah Palin backs Trump
AMES, IA - JANUARY 19: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump embraces former Gov. Sarah Palin at Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center at Iowa State University on January 19, 2016 in Ames, IA. Trump received Palin's endorsement at the event. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
AMES, IA - JANUARY 19: Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin speaks at Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center at Iowa State University on January 19, 2016 in Ames, IA. Palin endorsed Donald Trump's run for the Republican presidential nomination. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
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Another dimension of Palin choosing Trump over Ted Cruz is that McCain has tangled so publicly and sometimes personally with the Texas senator.

While McCain says he has a "cordial" relationship with Cruz, had Palin endorsed him that could have been interpreted as a slap to McCain.

Of course, Trump mocked McCain's war record in Iowa last summer and Palin stepped around that.

More from NBCNews.com:
Christie The Latest Candidate To Back Self-Deportation
The 'Cage Match' Is On: Cruz Knocks Trump for 1st Time
Poll: Contentious Primary Hurting GOP's Image

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