In a moment that could come to define his candidacy, Gary Johnson’s stumbling response to a question about Aleppo, Syria, on MSNBC this morning went viral almost immediately, with question “What Is Aleppo” quickly becoming a trending topic.  

During an interview with the panel on “Morning Joe,” the Libertarian presidential candidate Johnson was asked by Mike Barnicle, “What would you do, if you were elected, about Aleppo?”

Johnson stared for a moment, with Barnicle repeating the word “Aleppo” for clarity, and then looked around at the other hosts Mika Brezezinski and Willie Giest before asking, “And what is Aleppo?”

Read More: How the Last Gardener of Aleppo Brought Hope to Syria

“You’re kidding me,” Barnicle responded.

“No,” Johnson said.

Barnicle explained that he was referring to the city in Syria that is the “epicenter of the refugee crisis,” and, finally, Johnson understood.

“OK, got it. Got it,” Johnson said. “I do think that it’s a mess. I think the only way we deal with Syria is to join hands with Russia to diplomatically bring that to an end.”

Read More: Wounded Syrian Boy Is Brutal Reminder of the Refugee Crisis

As he recovered from the gaffe, though, the question “What is Aleppo?” was being repeated and re-Tweeted online, with video clips of Johnson being shared throughout the morning as viewers reacted to a presidential candidate not knowing the major Syrian city.


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Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson Asks on Live TV: 'What Is Aleppo?'

Par Colleen Curry