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Palin Says Son's Arrest Linked to PTSD, Obama's Stance on Vets

"It starts from the top, the question, it comes from our own president, when they have to look at him and wonder, do you know what we go through?"
Sarah Palin
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.AP

Sarah Palin suggested Wednesday that her son's arrest on domestic violence charges this week stemmed from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and - in part - the president's lack of "respect" for veterans.

Addressing what she called "the elephant in the room" during a rally in support of Donald Trump, Palin said her son Track came back "different" from his year-long deployment in Iraq.

"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 every other member of the military so sacrificially have given to this country," she said after alluding to the arrest.

"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?" she added. "So when my own son is going through what he goes through, coming back, I can certainly relate with other families who feel these ramifications of some PTSD and some of the woundedness that our soldiers do return with."

Track Palin, 26, was arrested Monday night and charged with interfering with the report of domestic violence, possession of a firearm while intoxicated and assault on his girlfriend.

The girlfriend told police Track Palin punched her in the face, kicked her in the knee and threatened suicide with an AR-15 assault rifle.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest responded to Palin's remarks during the press briefing Thursday, saying the issues were "not a joke" and that the administration will remain focused on them for the duration of President Obama's time in office.

NBC's Rachel Witkin and Carrie Dann contributed to this report.