Mika Brzezinski, a co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” has drawn criticism from President Donald Trump and the U.S. ambassador to Germany after she used a homophobic slur to describe Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Brzezinski uttered the slur during a segment on Wednesday about the alleged culpability of Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, in the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered in Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Istanbul, Turkey.
Brzezinski was criticizing Pompeo’s recent appearance on Fox News in which he avoided questions about Salman.
“Are the pathetic deflections that we just heard, when [Pompeo] appeared on ‘Fox & Friends,’ is that a patriot speaking, or a wannabe dictator’s butt boy?” Brzezinski asked. “Dead serious, I’m asking. Are these the words of a patriot?”
Brzezinski apologized later on Wednesday via Twitter, saying she used a “SUPER BAD choice of words.”
Brzezinski did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Later on Wednesday, Brzezinski’s comments drew the attention of Richard Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, who is openly gay. Grenell noted that Brzezinski apologized but not to gay people.
“Your words demean, mock and therefore try to control whole groups by minimizing our humanity,” Grenell tweeted.
On Thursday, Trump tweeted that Brzezinski was not being held to the same standards as conservative commentators who have been criticized for homophobic rhetoric.
“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….” Trump tweeted.
When asked if Brzezinski was subject to any disciplinary action for her comment, a spokesperson for MNSBC declined comment.
Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, also shared a tweet asking why comedian Kevin Hart had to step down from hosting the Oscarsafter using gay slurs as part of a routine while Brzezinski appeared to have suffered no consequences.
Brzezinski was not on the air on Thursday because of a family event, according to her co-host and husband, Joe Scarborough.
Trump has previously attacked Brzezinski on Twitter. Back in 2017, he suggested the host was bleeding from a cosmetic surgery, reigniting controversy about Trump’s demeaning descriptions of women.