Sarah Palin 'Today' Interview Gets Contentious: "You Guys Don't Always Keep Your Promises"
The former Alaska governor's appearance on the NBC morning show took an awkward turn when the co-hosts brought up her comments regarding the arrest of her son, Track.
On the day of the Iowa caucus, Sarah Palin sat down with the co-hosts of NBC's Today show for her first interview since she endorsed Republican frontrunner Donald Trump.
Appearing in the show's makeshift Iowa studio, Palin's interview with Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie began with a discussion about her support for Donald Trump and how it "wasn't tough" for her to pick between Trump and Ted Cruz, whom she'd supported in the past.
But things turned awkward when Guthrie brought up Palin's campaign-trail comments about the arrest of her son, Track. Palin suggested then that his arrest on domestic violence charges could be related to PTSD from serving in Iraq, and went on to link that to what she characterized as a lack of respect for military personnel from President Obama.
“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 their fellow soldiers and airmen and every other member of the military have given so sacrificially to this country, and that starts at the top,” Sarah Palin said. “It’s a shame that our military personnel even have to question, have to wonder if they’re respected anymore."
“So when my own son is going through what he goes through coming back, I can certainly relate with other families who kind of feel these ramifications of PTSD and some of the woundedness that our soldiers do return with,” she added. “And it makes me realize more than ever, it is now or never for the sake of America’s finest that we’ll have that commander in chief who will respect them and honor them.”
But when Guthrie asked Palin about linking her son's arrest to Obama, Palin interrupted and said she "never said" she blamed Obama for her son's PTSD.
"You guys brought me here to talk about Iowa politics and the caucus tonight, not to talk about my kids," Palin continued. "And that was a promise. But as things go in the world of media, you guys don't always keep your promises evidently. I never blamed President Obama. What I have blamed President Obama in doing though is this level of disrespect for the U.S. military that is made manifest in gutting budgets in not trying to beef it up and let our military do the job they are trained to do."
When Lauer asked Palin if she regretted saying something that seemed to lay PTSD at the foot of the president, she insisted again that she didn't do that.
"If you guys have a specific quote. It allows the media to be more credible if you guys will tell me exactly what you're talking about," she said.
Lauer also took a minute to clarify, "There were no specific promises made about content of the interview only that this would be your first interview since you endorsed Donald Trump."
Palin said that her understanding of the interview was that it would be to discuss the Iowa caucus.
Her second Today interview, with Willie Geist during the 9 o'clock hour, was a little lighter.
There she talked about Hillary Clinton and Tina Fey's impression of her.
When asked if there was any part of her that would be proud if Clinton became president in that it would mean the U.S. had elected its first female president, Palin smiled and said, "Sure! … Yeah."
She added, "I would prefer many, many other women to be president of the United States but sure. It's not going to happen, though, so it's such a hypothetical."
As for Fey's impression, which she revived on Saturday Night Live recently, Palin indicated she was a bit weary of it and wasn't really as unbothered by it as she's seemed to be on TV.
"On TV I've been a good sport about it," she said. "I think for the audience it should get a little bit old."
But she had complimentary things to say about Fey. "She's really, really talented and Lorne Michaels, he knows what he's doing and bringing in an audience by caricaturizing someone, and I guess I'm kind of helping with her job security still at SNL. I'll keep doing what I do."