- The Washington Times - Friday, September 4, 2015

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump labeled as “gotcha” questions some posed to him by radio host Hugh Hewitt on foreign affairs, saying that when the time is right, he’ll be up to speed on world affairs.

On his radio show Thursday, Mr. Hewitt asked Mr. Trump if he was familiar with Gen. Qassim Soleimani, the leader of the elite Quds Forces in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.

Mr. Trump responded by saying he thinks the Kurds have been mistreated, and Mr. Hewitt clarified that he meant the Quds Forces.

“Oh, I thought you said Kurds, Kurds,” Mr. Trump said. “Oh, I’m sorry, I thought you said Kurds, because I think the Kurds have been very poorly treated by us, Hugh. Go ahead.”

Mr. Hewitt asked Mr. Trump if he thought Gen. Soleimani’s behavior is going to change as a result of the nuclear deal with Iran.

Mr. Trump responded by saying that “Iran right now is in the driver’s seat to do whatever they want to do” and that the nuclear deal is “one of the most incompetent contracts I’ve ever seen.”

“Well, Soleimani is to terrorism sort of what Trump is to real estate,” Mr. Hewitt said.

“OK,” Mr. Trump replied.

“Many people would say he’s the most dangerous man in the world, and he runs the Quds Forces, which is their Navy SEALs,” Mr. Hewitt said.

“Is he the gentleman that was going back and forth with Russia and meeting with Putin? I read something, and that seems to be also where he’s at,” Mr. Trump said.

“That’s the guy,” Mr. Hewitt said.

“He’s going back and forth meeting with other countries, etcetera, etcetera,” Mr. Trump said.

“That’s the guy,” Mr. Hewitt said.

“Not good,” Mr. Trump said. “Not good for us. And what it shows is a total lack of respect, I mean, that the other countries would even be entertaining him, and they’re entertaining him big league, big league.”

Mr. Hewitt said later that on the Islamic terrorism front, he’s looking for the next commander-in-chief to be familiar with people like Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Nusra’s Abu Mohammed al-Julani, and Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

“Do you know the players without a scorecard, yet, Donald Trump?” he asked.

“No, you know, I’ll tell you honestly, I think by the time we get to office, they’ll all be changed,” Mr. Trump said. “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.”

Mr. Hewitt said he’s not a believer in “gotcha” questions, and he wasn’t trying to quiz Mr. Trump on who the worst guy in the world is.

“Well, that is a gotcha question, though,” Mr. Trump said. “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.”

Later on, Mr. Hewitt, who will be asking candidates questions at the next GOP debate on Sept. 16, 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?”

“Yes, I do. I totally do. I think it’s ridiculous,” Mr. Trump said.

“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,” he said. “And now on the bigger picture, like the fact that … the 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, you know, give me their address, I think it’s ridiculous, and I think it’s totally worthless.”

Mr. Trump said the names Mr. Hewitt just mentioned probably won’t even be there in six months or a year.

“I don’t know. Nasrallah’s got such staying power,” Mr. Hewitt said.

“Well, let’s see what happens,” Mr. Trump said.

“And you know what? In that case, first day in office, or before then, right at the day after the election, I’ll know more about it than you will ever know. That I can tell you,” Mr. Trump said.

“Oh, I hope so. Last question, so the difference between Hezbollah and Hamas does not matter to you yet, but it will?” Mr. Hewitt asked.

“It will when it’s appropriate,” Mr. Trump said. “I will know more about it than you know, and believe me, it won’t take me long.”

“All right, that, I believe,” Mr. Hewitt said.

“But right now, right now, I think it’s just something that, and you know what, if you ask these candidates, nobody’s going to be able to give you an answer. I mean, there may be one that studied it because they’re expecting a fresh question from you. But believe me, it won’t matter. I will know far more than you know within 24 hours after I get the job,” Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Trump continued to go after Mr. Hewitt Friday morning, labeling him a “third-rate radio announcer.”

“By the way, when you say ‘Quds’ versus ‘Kurds,’ I thought he said Kurds, this third-rate radio announcer,” Mr. Trump said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “It was like gotcha, gotcha — every question was do I know this one, and that one, you know, it was like he worked hard on that.”

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide