Libertarian party presidential candidate and former governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson, shocked viewers during his interview with MSNBC’s Mike Barnicle. Barnicle asked a question regarding the situation in Aleppo, Syria. Johnson responded with, “and what is Aleppo?” Barnacle, shocked, quickly responded by asking if he was kidding. Johnson did not seem to be anywhere near joking.
Aleppo is home to a five year civil war, BBC News reported. The UN says 250,000 people have been killed in the past five years and the organization has even stopped updating its figures since August 2015 because it is so hard to keep track of. Johnson’s public image is now negatively affected due to his lack of knowledge towards major world news, according to many experts.
Johnson’s inability to redeem himself during the interview led to an uproar on Twitter. Soon after the interview #whatisaleppo was trending. From Mitt Romney to Brian Lehrer, concerned tweets blared across the world of social media.
According to USA Today, Johnson later released a statement to address his public humiliation. Johnson stated “As Governor, there were many things I didn’t know off the top of my head. But I succeeded by surrounding myself with the right people, getting to the bottom of important issues and making principled decisions. It worked. That is what a President must do.”
The people of Syria are being torn apart by devastating attacks. In most recent news an attack reported by CNN involved a chlorine gas attack. The attack injured children and killed market patrons in the eastern part of the city. The violence has caused 4.8 million people to flee the country in hopes of a better life. Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey are struggling with the major increase of refugees, causing one of the largest refugee crisis’ in recent history.
With the country of Syria under extreme measures The United States has reached a new agreement with Russia in an attempt to try and deflate the violence in Syria. The agreement comes after 10 months of failed attempts to try and stop the fighting. The New York Times reports that if the agreement works, it would be the first time Russia and the United States have worked together to fight terrorism.
Obama and Russian President Putin met at the G20 summit last week and could not reach a peace deal for Syria. However, a week later Secretary of State John Kerry and Russia’s Sergey V. Lavrov reached a deal that will lead to a a supression of violence in the Middle East.
This begins with seven ongoing days of a “reduction of violence,” Kerry said. If these seven days are successful, the two countries will continue with the following steps. In which Russia will restrain Syria’s President, President Bashar al-Assad, from producing any further air operations. With this factor in place the United States will end the barrel bomb attacks.
Kerry, according to The New York Times, also said, “We believe the plan, if implemented, if followed, has the ability to provide a turning point, a change.”
Editor’s Note: Information from MSNBC, BBC News, United Nations, CNN and The New York Times was used in this report.