Trump stated the questions were gotcha questions and his response is:
HH: You know, I’d buy that, because you’re a builder. 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?
DT: 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.
There’s a behavior pattern emerging with Trump – angry personal attacks on the journalist and whining about gotcha questions. A better response would be, “I will assuredly be doing extensive reading on all these people as soon as this interview is over!” or perhaps, “I am terrible with names, but here’s how I see the events going on in that area of the world.” Then, offer a brief synopsis of that hot spot in the world.
Sean Davis at The Federalist dissected this interview, “Some perspective on Donald Trump’s embarrassing Hugh Hewitt interview”:
“There was no excuse then, nor is there any excuse now, for a top presidential candidate to waltz into media interviews without having adequately prepared. Trump’s arrogance — his belief that he can credibly talk about any subject regardless of how little he knows about it — got the better of him.”