MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski apologized to viewers on Friday for using a homophobic slur against Secretary of State Mike Pompeo this week, although she omitted Pompeo from her mea culpa.
Brzezinski had angrily wondered on Wednesday if Pompeo was a "wannabe dictator's butt boy" after he defended the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia and crown prince Mohammed bin Salman in the wake of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
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"Are the pathetic deflections that we just heard when he appeared on Fox and Friends, is that a patriot speaking, or a wannabe dictator's butt boy?" Brzezinski asked after Pompeo was interviewed on Fox News. "I'm dead serious."
Brzezinski swiftly apologized on Twitter after her comments drew blowback—"butt boy" is a crude term for a man on the receiving end of anal sex—and after she was off Thursday for what the network said was a family event, she spoke to the camera to address her caustic remark.
"I wanted to address a term that I used on this show on Wednesday that was vulgar," she said. "I knew it right away and I tweeted that it was a terrible choice of words and that I was sorry, but please allow me to say this face-to-face. The term is crass and offensive and I apologize to everyone, especially the LGBTQ community and to my colleagues for using it.
"It was a mistake. My father would have found it so unbecoming and disrespectful and he would have told me. I will work hard to be better. But I just wanted to say on camera, looking the viewers straight in the eye, I am really, really sorry."
Brzezinski did not mention Pompeo in her apology, instead saying she was especially sorry to the LGBTQ community and her work colleagues. The Free Beacon contacted MSNBC and will update with its response.
President Donald Trump weighed in on Thursday, calling Brzezinski "crazed" and saying a conservative would "be banned permanently from television" for such a comment.
….She will probably be given a pass, despite their terrible ratings. Congratulations to @RichardGrenell, our great Ambassador to Germany, for having the courage to take this horrible issue on!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2018
Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, her co-host and husband, were friendly with Trump during the 2016 GOP primary before becoming two of his fiercest critics on MSNBC.