Rand Paul, one of the most vocal critics of Donald Trump, defended the real estate mogul on Friday after Trump mixed up Iran's Quds Force with Kurdish people in an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt.
"You know, I'm not big on defending Donald Trump by any means, and I've been one of his fiercest critics but I think it can be sometimes be hard to hear the difference," Paul said on The Michael Smerconish Program. "If you are talking about hearing, I sometimes don't hear well, between Quds and Kurds. Also, the pronunciation, you know is a 'q' and not a 'k' but it sounds like a 'k.'"
"I also do think that running through a list of every different Arabic name and asking somebody to respond to them, is maybe a little bit of a game of gotcha," Paul added.
Paul, however, did not excuse Trump for not knowing the difference between Hamas and Hezbollah.
"I do think knowing the difference between Hamas and Hezbollah, knowing the difference between Shiites and Sunnis, and knowing a little bit of the history, or a significant amount of the history, of what's been going on the Middle East is important for our next leader," Paul said.
"But some people do like to play games with names and it's a lot easier if you are prepared for the interview on one side, and you know all the names, and you have them in front of you on a piece of paper, versus surprising people with the names. So, like I say, I'm not into defending Donald Trump and you won't find it very often, but I do think some interviewers do like to play this game. "
Megan Apper is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Megan Apper at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kyle Blaine is the deputy politics editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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