MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski Calls Mike Pompeo a "Wannabe Dictator's Butt Boy"

Mika Brzezinski and Mike Pompeo-Split-Getty-H 2018
Bryan Bedder/Getty Images; Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The 'Morning Joe' co-host, who later apologized, was angered by the Secretary of State's tepid response to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski does not mince words on her influential show, but she took things up a notch Wednesday when she referred to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as a "wannabe dictator's butt boy," a comment for which she later apologized.

Her comment came during a segment about Pompeo's weak response to the murder of Saudi journalist and Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi during an interview on the Fox News program Fox & Friends.

"We know the prince knows, right?" co-host Brian Kilmeade pressed Pompeo on the knowledge of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Al Saud. Pompeo said, "It is absolutely America's intent to hold everyone accountable who was responsible for this," but largely did not take the bait and put any blame on the royal family for the murder (despite the conclusions of the CIA).

Brzezinski was not impressed by Pompeo's performance. "I understand that Donald Trump doesn't care.... But why doesn't Mike Pompeo care right now? Are the pathetic deflections that we just heard, when he appeared on Fox & Friends — is that a patriot speaking? Or a wannabe dictator's butt boy? I'm dead serious. I'm asking: Are these the words of a patriot?"

There appeared to be a slight delay during the broadcast after Brzezinski's remark.

She apologized for the remark on Twitter, after her show concluded. "Totally agree with you," she wrote in response to a Twitter user's complaint. "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!"

The State Department's public affairs office has not yet responded to a Hollywood Reporter request for comment on Brzezinski's remark, but President Donald Trump weighed in on Thursday afternoon.

"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," he wrote. "She will probably be given a pass, despite their terrible ratings."

Dec. 13, 9:43 a.m.: Updated to include comments from President Trump.