Real-estate tycoon Donald Trump said Wednesday that he approved of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's (R) message about her son at a rally earlier in the day.
Palin sparked some backlash when she appeared to link her son's domestic-violence arrest to the broader policies of President Barack Obama's administration.
During an interview, CNN anchor Don Lemon asked Trump, "Do you think it's fair to link the president with her son's issues?"
The Republican presidential front-runner said said he thought it was fair.
"Oh, I think so," he told Lemon. "Look, everything starts at the top. He's the president. And I think you can certainly do that. And all you have to do is look at the Veterans Administration. Look at the bad, the horrible care our vets get. One of the many things I'm going to do is I'm going to straighten that mess out."
Track Palin, the oldest child of the former Alaska governor, was charged on Tuesday in a domestic-violence case "in which his girlfriend said he punched her in the head and threatened to fire a rifle, court and police documents said," according to The New York Times.
Palin alluded to the arrest at a Trump rally Wednesday in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Palin referred to the "elephant in the room" and what her family was going through "personally" before suggesting that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was to blame.
"My son, like so many others, they come back a bit different," Palin said. "They come back hardened. They come back wondering if there is that respect for what it is that their fellow soldiers and airmen every other member of the military so sacrificially have given to this country. And that starts from the top."
The former vice-presidential candidate continued: "It's a shame that our military personnel even have to wonder, if they have to question if they're respected anymore. It starts from the top. The question though 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?'"
Trump said on CNN that he told Palin she should bring up her son's arrest at the Oklahoma rally.
"I told her it would be absolutely fine. I thought it would be appropriate," he told Lemon. "There was tremendous press. And think it's something that's very important to discuss — not even for her son — but for so many other sons and daughters that are coming back from the Middle East, where they have traumatic problems. They have tremendous problems."
Trump added: "I actually suggested it. I said, 'I think it would be a great forum.' And I know she started the dialogue. I think it's a very important dialogue."
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