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Tags: Ben Carson | GOP2016 | ben carson | foreign policy | national security | knowledge | china

NY Times: 2 Carson Advisers Cast Doubt on His Foreign Policy Knowledge

NY Times: 2 Carson Advisers Cast Doubt on His Foreign Policy Knowledge
 Ben Carson (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 17 November 2015 06:18 PM

Two of GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson's top advisers say the candidate is struggling to grasp foreign policy matters, The New York Times reports. 

Duane R. Clarridge, whom the Times described as a top adviser on terrorism and national security, told the newspaper that Carson's incorrect claim in last week's debate, that the Chinese are involved fighting in Syria, came from bad information from a freelance American intelligence operative in Iraq.

But Carson's later appearance on "Fox News Sunday" in which he was unable to name the nations he would call on to fight with the United States against the Islamic State was cringeworthy, and had him calling Armstrong Williams, another adviser and friend.

"We need to have a conference call once a week where his guys roll out the subjects they think will be out there, and we can make him smart," Clarridge said he told Williams.

"He's been briefed on it so many times," Williams told the Times of the Fox News interview. "I guess he just froze."

Carson sometimes "overthinks things," Williams added. He said he talked to Carson after the Fox News interview.

"I could tell, talking to him, it was a bummer for him," he said.

"Nobody has been able to sit down with him and have him get one iota of intelligent information about the Middle East," Clarridge said.

The Carson campaign fired back, with spokesman Doug Watts issuing a statement to the media.

"Mr. Clarridge has incomplete knowledge of the daily, not weekly briefings, that Dr. Carson receives on important national security matters from former military and State Department officials," Watts said.

"He is coming to the end of a long career of serving our country. Mr. Clarridge's input to Dr. Carson is appreciated but he is clearly not one of Dr. Carson's top advisors," he said. For the New York Times to take advantage of an elderly gentleman and use him as their foil in this story is an affront to good journalistic practices."

The Times story noted that Clarridge volunteered his services to Carson without pay.

Williams, appearing Tuesday on Bloomberg TV's "With All Due Repect," said Clarridge is well-intentioned, but is not aware that Carson talks to "13 or 14 different people on foreign policy all the time."

As for his own quote that Carson "froze" during the Fox News interview, Williams said he did use that word, but really meant to say that Carson was "dismissive" of the question because it was a hypothetical, and he doesn't like answering hypotheticals.

Williams said Carson is immersing himself in foreign policy and is a quick learner. Still, he could be stumped by an unexpected question, Williams said.

"There is much for him to learn. He is not perfect. We'll never be perfect," he said.



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Two of GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson's top advisers say the candidate is struggling to grasp foreign policy matters, The New York Times reports. Duane R. Clarridge, whom the Times described as a top adviser on terrorism and national security, told the newspaper...
ben carson, foreign policy, national security, knowledge, china
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2015-18-17
Tuesday, 17 November 2015 06:18 PM
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