Three things we learned about Donald Trump today

Washington (CNN)Donald Trump spent 20 minutes on CNN's "New Day" on Tuesday morning riffing about everything from a possible run with Ben Carson to his latest position on the Afghanistan War.

The interview comes as the billionaire businessman continues to dominate the polls, despite making a series of incendiary comments throughout his campaign. A new CNN/ORC poll out Tuesday shows Trump in the lead with 27% of the vote.
Here are the top three things we learned about Trump's campaign strategy from his "New Day" interview.

1. When confronted with an unpopular stance deny, deny, and, ah, deny.

    On October 6, Trump was pretty clear that he thought the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were both mistakes.
    "We made a terrible mistake getting involved there in the first place," Trump said at the time on CNN. "We had real brilliant thinkers that didn't know what the hell they were doing. And it's a mess. It's a mess. And at this point, you probably have to (stay) because that thing will collapse about two seconds after they leave. Just as I said that Iraq was going to collapse after we leave."
    When asked about his remarks two weeks later, Trump had a different answer and flatly rejected the fact that he had made his previous statements.
    "We made a mistake going into Iraq. I've never said we made a mistake going into Afghanistan," Trump told CNN's Alisyn Camerota on "New Day," when pressed about his comments earlier this month.
    Flatly denying comments and positions is hardly new for Trump. After he told CNN that he would consider funding some Planned Parenthood functions covering women's health care, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly pressed him for an answer why. And Trump said that O'Reilly got his facts wrong.
    "I don't know where you got this information," Trump said.

    2. Keep your friends close, your enemies closer and your frenemies closest

    Trump and Ben Carson make up the odd couple running away from the rest of the Republican presidential primary pack right now.
    Trump is wild and outspoken. Carson is quiet and friendly. The two have been running in first in second in the polls, including the latest CNN/ORC poll Carson and Trump are the only two with double-digit support.
    "Well, we've hit a chord. And we're not as different as people think," Trump told CNN about the poll results. "You know we have a very good relationship. We're not as different as people think. But there is certainly a different style. You know, I have great assets and he has some great assets. But we are both resonating, there's no question about it."
    Trump has made a cottage industry out of blasting most Republicans -- especially Jeb Bush -- and for a while it looked as though Trump was picking on his closest competitors.
    The closest Carson and Trump ever got to a spat was when Carson questioned the sincerity of Trump's faith after Trump could not cite a favorite verse from the Bible. But that lasted just a day before Carson backed off.
    So Trump should be blasting away at Carson, right? Maybe not. Perhaps instead he should be offered a spot on the Republican outsider ticket.
    "Well I like him, he likes me," Trump said, when asked about whether he'd consider Carson for his running mate. "I mean, stranger things have happened."

    3. Trump will keep the U.S. out of "quagmires" like the Middle East, which sounds a lot like two presidents

    Trump may have wavered on his position on Afghanistan, but one thing is clear: he doesn't want to stick the U.S. in any more foreign "quagmires."
    "It's not going to change. It's not going to change with Syria either. It's like a quagmire, like being in quick sand. You can't get out," Trump told CNN Tuesday.
    Trump isn't the first White House hopeful to promise no to get the U.S. bogged down in foreign conflicts.
    In 2008, with the nation's attention split between two wars, then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama said the nation needed to turn its focus from the "dangerous distraction" that had become the Iraq War and refocus on winning in Afghanistan.
    And during the 2000 presidential debates, then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush said the U.S. should not act as a global police force. "I would be very careful about using our troops as nation-builders," Bush said at the presidential debate on Oct. 3, 2000.