Gary Johnson asks: ‘What is Aleppo?’

Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson on Thursday shocked the hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” by seeming to not know what the Syrian city of Aleppo is.
“What would you do if you were elected about Aleppo?” MSNBC political commentator Mike Barnicle asked Johnson minutes into an interview with the former New Mexico governor.
{mosads}”And what is Aleppo?” Johnson asked.
“You’re kidding,” Barnicle responded.
“No,” Johnson said. 
“Aleppo is in Syria,” Barnicle said. “It’s the epicenter of the refugee crisis.”
“OK, got it, got it,” Johnson said.
He then attempted to flex his foreign policy knowledge.
“With regard to Syria, I do think that it’s a mess. I think that the only way we deal with Syria is to join hands with Russia to diplomatically bring that at an end,” Johnson said.
“But when we’ve aligned ourselves, when we’ve supported the opposition of the Free Syrian Army, the Free Syrian Army is also coupled with the Islamists, and then the fact that we’re also supporting the Kurds, and it’s just a mess,” he added.
“Aleppo is the center of a lot of people’s concerns across the planet about the terrible humanitarian crisis that is unfolding,” MSNBC host Joe Scarborough told Johnson. 
“You asked, ‘What is Aleppo?’ Do you really think that foreign policy is so insignificant that somebody running for president of the United States shouldn’t even know what Aleppo is, where Aleppo is, why Aleppo is so important?” he asked.
“No, I do understand Aleppo and I understand the crisis that is going on,” Johnson responded.
The “Morning Joe” hosts were disturbed about Johnson’s confusion about Aleppo.
“My god, can you believe it?” Scarborough asked co-host Mika Brzezinski after a commercial break. “It would be like asking, ‘What is Sarajevo?’ in 1991. It is stunning.”
He called Johnson “so ignorant on foreign policy to ask, ‘What is Aleppo?’ on national television.”
Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin interviewed Johnson minutes after the interview, and MSNBC broadcast smartphone footage of Johnson saying, “I’m incredibly frustrated with myself.”
Johnson is trying to reach 15 percent support in national polls — the threshold necessary to make the cut for the presidential debates that begin later this month. He got a boost on Wednesday when former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney called for the Libertarian ticket to be included in debates.
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