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Trump Fails to Identify National Security Threats During Foreign Policy Interview

During a foreign policy interview on last Thursday's episode of The Hugh Hewitt Show, Donald Trump struggled to identify the names of leaders of international terrorist groups. After the show, Trump blasted Hewitt on Twitter and accused him of asking "gotcha" questions.

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Barry Donegan
Barry Donegan is a writer, musician, and pro-liberty political activist living in Nashville, TN. Donegan served as Director-at-Large of the Davidson County Republican Party from 2009-2011 and was the Middle Tennessee Regional Coordinator over 30 counties for Ron Paul's 2012 Presidential Campaign. Follow him at facebook.com/barry.donegan and twitter.com/barrydonegan

In a clip from last Thursday’s episode of The Hugh Hewitt Show, embedded above, 2016 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump failed to identify the names of various leaders of international terrorist organizations, sparking a feud between Trump and Hewitt, whom Trump accused of asking “gotcha” questions.

Hewitt, who has been tapped to serve as a moderator at CNN’s September 16 Republican presidential debate, asked, “But on the front of Islamist terrorism, I’m looking for the next commander-in-chief to know who Hassan Nasrallah is, and Zawahiri, and al-Julani, and al-Baghdadi. Do you know the players without a scorecard, yet, Donald Trump?

[RELATED: CNN Amends Criteria For GOP Debate Lineup]

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Donald Trump replied, “No, you know, I’ll tell you honestly, I think by the time we get to office, they’ll all be changed. They’ll be all gone. I knew you were going to ask me things like this, and there’s no reason, because number one, I’ll find, I will hopefully find General Douglas MacArthur in the pack. I will find whoever it is that I’ll find, and we’ll, but they’re all changing, Hugh. You know, those are like history questions. Do you know this one, do you know that one. I will tell you, I thought you used the word Kurd before. I will tell you that I think the Kurds are the most under-utilized and are being totally mistreated by us. And nobody understands why. But as far as the individual players, of course I don’t know them. I’ve never met them. I haven’t been, you know, in a position to meet them. If, if they’re still there, which is unlikely in many cases, but if they’re still there, I will know them better than I know you.”

Earlier in the interview, Trump appeared unaware of Iran’s elite Quds Force and confused the military group with the Kurds, a Middle Eastern ethnic group.

Now I don’t believe in gotcha questions. And I’m not trying to quiz you on who the worst guy in the world is,” said Hewitt, defending his line of questioning.

Trump fired back, “Well, that is a gotcha question, though. I mean, you know, when you’re asking me about who’s running this, this this, that’s not, that is not, I will be so good at the military, your head will spin. But obviously, I’m not meeting these people. I’m not seeing these people. Now it probably will be a lot of changes, Hugh, as you go along. They’ll be, by the time we get there, which is still a pretty long period of time, you know, you start, let’s say you figure out nominations, and who is going to represent the Republicans in, let’s say, February, March, April, you’ll start to get pretty good ideas, maybe sooner than that, actually. But that will be a whole new group of people. I think what is really important is to pick out, and this is something I’m so good at, to pick out who is going to be the best person to represent us militarily, because we have some great people, militarily. I don’t know that we’re using them.

Near the end of the interview, Hewitt warned Trump that he might face the same line of questioning at CNN’s September 16 Republican presidential debate and said, “At the debate, I may bring up Nasrallah being with Hezbollah, and al-Julani being with al-Nusra, and al-Masri being with Hamas. Do you think if I ask people to talk about those three things, and the differences, that that’s a gotcha question?

Donald Trump replied, “Yes, I do. I totally do. I think it’s ridiculous.” He added, “All right, I think it’s ridiculous. I’ll have, I’m a delegator. I find great people. I find absolutely great people, and I’ll find them in our armed services, and I find absolutely great people. And now on the bigger picture, like the fact that our Kurds are being treated so poorly, and would really is the one group that really would be out there fighting for us, I think, and fighting for themselves, maybe more importantly to them, I understand that. But when you start throwing around names of people and where they live and give me their address, I think it’s ridiculous, and I think it’s totally worthless.

Well, and by the way, the names you just mentioned, they probably won’t even be there in six months or a year,” concluded Trump.

After the show, Trump took to Twitter to blast Hewitt for asking what Trump characterized as “gotcha” questions.

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