Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski on Monday called Secretary of State Mike Pompeo a “butt boy” for President Trump during a conversation about the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
“I understand that Donald Trump doesn’t care,” Brzezinski said to a panel that included Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin. “He 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?”
The MSNBC control room seemingly cut her audio for a brief second but Brzezinski’s homophobic remark still made it on-air.
For readers unaware of the colloquial phrase “butt boy,” the first entry on UrbanDictionary.com describes it as “a sexual boy toy who belongs to an older man.” (Be warned: in typical Urban Dictionary fashion, the entries get more and more graphic as you read on.)
Brzezinski later apologized via Twitter, acknowledging her “poor choice of words.”
“I should have said ‘water boy’... like for football teams or something like that… SO SORRY!” she wrote.
Anti-Trump media personalities have often gotten themselves in hot water for deploying homophobic barbs to mock the president and his allies—typically over his cozy relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which has been referenced in several Saturday Night Live skits over the past few months.
The cold open from two weeks ago received criticism from The Daily Beast’s Kevin Fallon, who called the innuendo about the two world leaders having a sexual relationship “endless, and exhausting—and lazy, and ignorant, and offensive, and base-level, and baseless, and homophobic, and, well, not really a joke at all.”
MSNBC was not immediately available to comment on Brzezinski’s remark, and a source close to the situation told The Daily Beast that network executives were in a meeting to discuss the issue on Wednesday morning.
—Pilar Melendez contributed reporting.