During a discussion Wednesday about Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's "deflections" on questions over the controversy surrounding the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, "Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski slammed Pompeo as a "wannabe dictator’s butt boy."
"I understand that Donald Trump doesn't care. But why doesn’t Mike Pompeo care right now?" Brzezinski asked in reference to the Khashoggi case. "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 buttboy? I’m dead serious. I’m asking, are these the words of a patriot?"
Brzezinski apologized for the slur Wednesday, but not to Pompeo. "Totally agree with you -SUPER BAD choice of words .. I should have said 'water boy' ... like for football teams or something like that.. apologize to @SenatorDurbin too! SO SORRY!" she tweeted.
On Thursday, Trump, whose ongoing public feud with Brzezinski and her co-host Joe Scarborough has made headlines repeatedly over the last two years, weighed in on the situation, pointing to it as another example of the media's double standard for conservatives versus liberals.
"If it was a Conservative that said what 'crazed' Mika Brzezinski stated on her show yesterday, using a certain horrible term, that person would be banned permanently from television. She will probably be given a pass, despite their terrible ratings," he wrote, adding, "Congratulations to @RichardGrenell, our great Ambassador to Germany, for having the courage to take this horrible issue on!"
Trump's last reference was to a tweet issued by Ambassador Grenell noting that Brzezinski's apology wasn't actually directed at the right people.
"[A]ccepting apologies is important. We all fail," wrote the ambassador. "But I don’t see that you’ve actually apologized to gays? Your words demean, mock and therefore try to control whole groups by minimizing our humanity."
Amid mounting pressure, including from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Brzezinski apologized again on Friday morning, this time on air — again directing her apology not to Pompeo, but instead to the LGBT community and her colleagues.
"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," she said, The Washington Post reports."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 viewer straight in the eye: I am really, really sorry."