Foreign policy is not Donald Trump’s strong suit, we all know that. But average American voters only have a vague sense of what’s going on overseas, so the fact that Trump seems to draw his knowledge of foreign policy from right wing Twitter headlines doesn’t scare his supporters like it should.
Tuesday, in a town hall moderated by Trump supporter, Ret. Gen. Mike Flynn, Trump gave one of his worst interviews on the issue of national security in front of a crowd of veterans. The GOP nominee bumbled easy layups, answered other questions incoherently, or rambled on and on in off topic tangents.
For example, when asked about policy specifics for defeating ISIS:
Trump: "We have to solve the ISIS problem. We have to solve it big league and strongly and swiftly." #policyspecifics
— Josh Rogin (@joshrogin) September 6, 2016
When asked what he would do to stop the flow of Syrian refugees into the U.S. as a result of the Syrian civil war, Trump boasted that America would create safe zones in the Middle East, though he said the U.S. would neither build them nor pay for them, leaving the question unanswered about how they would be created.
On the topic of Assad, the leader of Syria who has led the civil war against Syrians, weakening the country and allowing ISIS to operate, Trump’s rambling answer quickly shifted from Assad to Iran to ridiculing Secretary of State John Kerry for falling off his bike.
But wait, there’s more! When asked about different tactics to defeat ISIS, Trump shifted the conversation to his motherf*cking poll numbers.
Trump on his plan to fight ISIS: "And now the cyber is so big" – pivots to positive CNN poll. pic.twitter.com/L9nbFCPqaU
— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) September 6, 2016
And here is Trump recalling the Iraq-Iran War:
But just think of what’s gone on. Here we are. We made this deal. We just – we made them a power. And we also happen to have given them Iraq, because Iraq – you know I always say, Iraq and Iran were very similar militarily and they fight, fight, fight, and then they’d rest. They’d fight, fight, fight, and then Saddam Hussein would do the gas. And somebody else would do something else. And they’d rest.”
Trump illustrated to Americans today that he is in way over his head. He has no idea what’s going on in the world, and he effectively showed us all that he simply doesn’t have the diplomatic chops to sit down with the leaders from other countries and navigate rocky foreign relationships or intricate deals. He has had an entire year to sit down and absorb everything he can about foreign policy, and it seems he’s learned absolutely nothing.
Featured image via Drew Angerer/Getty Images