The “Today” show this morning invited former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin to chat about — well, exactly what she was supposed to chat about was the matter of some dispute on the program.

Broadcasting from Iowa in anticipation of today’s caucuses, anchors Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie quizzed Palin on her decision to endorse Donald Trump and her feelings about the presidential bid of Ted Cruz, whose successful Texas Senate bid she’d endorsed. Palin had good, reasonable responses to all that stuff.

Then “Today” turned back the clock just a touch, to the Oklahoma Trump rally at which Palin spoke of her son’s recent troubles. Twenty-six-year-old Track Palin was arrested on charges of “fourth-degree assault, interfering with the report of a domestic violence crime and possession of a firearm while intoxicated” after an altercation with his girlfriend. Track Palin had spent a year in Iraq with the Army, which provided the backdrop for Sarah Palin’s remarks at the rally:

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My son, a combat veteran . . . fighting for you all, America, in the war zone. 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. And that starts from the top. That comes from our own president. Where 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?”

Guthrie pressed, “You said that President Obama may be to blame for some of the PTSD that’s out there.”

Palin: “I never said that.”

Guthrie: “Let’s take it piece by piece — what exactly did you mean?”

Palin: “Let’s start piece by piece by: You guys brought me here to talk about Iowa politics and the caucus tonight, not to talk about my kids, 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 United States military that is made manifest in gutting budgets, in not trying to beef it up and let our military do the job that they are trained to do.”

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Asked by Lauer whether she regretted the comment, Palin replied, “What did I say that is offensive?”

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On the matter of the media’s credibility, Lauer said, “There were no specific promises made about content of the interview.” Palin countered that she was told the topic was Iowa politics. Which it was, until the hosts wanted to probe another newsworthy matter, and that’s a quite common progression in the news business. Plus: The notion that Palin would give controversial remarks in a venue as public as a Trump rally and gripe about having to defend them, well, that’s Sarah Palin.

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