Donald TrumpDonald TrumpFormer defense secretary Esper sues Pentagon in memoir dispute Biden celebrates start of Hanukkah Fauci says lies, threats are 'noise' MORE in Wednesday night's main-stage debate defended his inability to identify the names of top terrorists during a recent radio interview with conservative host Hugh Hewitt.
"Hugh was giving me name after name, Arab name, Arab name, and there are few people anywhere, anywhere, that would have known those names," Trump said.
"I think he was reading them off a sheet, and frankly, I will have, and I told him, I will have the finest team that anybody's put together, and we will solve a lot of problems," the GOP front-runner said.
"Right now, they know a lot and look at what's happening, the world is blowing up around us," he continued, referring to the Obama administration. "We will have great teams and great people."
Trump appeared to stumble during the Sept. 3 interview when Hewitt asked if he knew who the leaders of Hezbollah, al Qaeda, al Qaeda's Syria affiliate and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria were.
"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?" he asked Trump.
Trump had responded that he didn't know, and later slammed Hewitt for asking "gotcha" questions.
But Wednesday, Trump said he and Hewitt, who was one of the debate hosts, had a "legitimate misunderstanding in terms of his mispronunciation of a word," when he mixed up the "Kurds" with the Iranian "Quds" force, prompting titters from the audience.
Fellow candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) scoffed at Trump's remarks.
"I would think if you're running for president, these are important issues," he said. "These are extraordinarily dangerous times that we live in, and the next president of the United States better be someone who understands these issues."