Trump stumped on foreign policy, hits ‘gotcha’ questions

Updated 6:59 PM EDT, Fri September 4, 2015
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 03:  GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump speaks at a news conference in Manhattan after he signed a pledge Thursday to support the Republican nominee in the 2016 general election, ruling out a third-party or independent run on September 3, 2015 in New York City. Trump made the announcement following a meeting with  Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus. Trump stressed repeatedly in the news conference that he is leading in all national polls.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 03: GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump speaks at a news conference in Manhattan after he signed a pledge Thursday to support the Republican nominee in the 2016 general election, ruling out a third-party or independent run on September 3, 2015 in New York City. Trump made the announcement following a meeting with Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus. Trump stressed repeatedly in the news conference that he is leading in all national polls. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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Story highlights

Trump said it is "ridiculous" to be asked about who the heads of Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Nusra and ISIS are

Trump sought to downplay the importance of knowing who controls these terror organizations

(CNN) —  

Donald Trump stumbled when asked about the heads of major terrorist organizations on Thursday and then lashed out at what he called a “gotcha question.”

Trump, the front-runner for the GOP nomination, blasted conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt in an interview and said it is “ridiculous” to be questioned about who leads Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Nusra and ISIS.

“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,” Trump said.

Trump sought to downplay the importance of knowing who controls the terror groups. He suggested that those leaders – some of whom have led their groups for years – would likely no longer be in power by the time he would reach the White House.

“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,” Trump told Hewitt.

During the interview, Hewitt said he didn’t mean to be asking Trump “gotcha questions” - but the front-running Republican candidate was having none of it.

“Well, that is a gotcha question, you know, when you’re asking me whose running this, this, this,” Trump said.

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And Trump also said that the difference between Hamas and Hezbollah, the groups that pose the most direct threat to Israel, does not yet matter to him.

“It will when it’s appropriate,” Trump responded.

Trump was also flustered early in the interview when he appeared not to know the name of General Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Forces who has played a critical role in Iraq and in the fight against ISIS. He is also believed to be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of U.S. troops in Iraq.

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Trump initially thought Hewitt said “Kurds” and not “Quds” and began saying that the Kurds, who have been crucial allies in the fight against ISIS, “have been horribly mistreated.”

Hewitt explained that Soleimani “is to terrorism sort of what Trump is to real estate,” before Trump asked:

“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,” Trump said.

“That’s the guy,” Hewitt replied.

Meanwhile, Carly Fiorina, who is also vying for the GOP presidential nomination, told Hewitt in an interview later on Thursday that she did not believe the questions amounted to “gotcha questions.”

“The questions you’re asking are at the heart of the threat that we face, that our ally, Israel, faces, that the world faces. It is critically important that America lead again in the world. It is critically important that we have a leader in the White House who understands the world and who’s in it and how it works,” Fiorina told Hewitt.

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