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Mika Brzezinski opens somber ‘Morning Joe’ with apology — to everyone except Mike Pompeo — for calling secretary of state a ‘butt-boy’

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MSNBC "Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski issued an on-air apology Friday for calling Secretary of State Mike Pompeo a "butt-boy" — but stopped short of directly addressing the secretary of state in her remarks.

Instead, Brzezinski made a blanket apology to "everyone," and especially to the LGBTQ community, for her use of the term "butt-boy."

What did she say in her apology?

After a Thursday show absence, Brzezinski returned to the set Friday and issued an apology up front.

"I want to get to something first. I was off yesterday for a family matter ... but I wanted to address a term that I used on this show on Wednesday that was vulgar," she explained.

"I knew it right away and I tweeted that it was a terrible choice of words and that I was sorry," Brzezinski continued. "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," she added. "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."

What's the background?

During Wednesday's show, Brzezinski addressed Pompeo's response to the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Pompeo defended Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman after Khashoggi's violent death.

Pompeo appeared on Wednesday's "Fox & Friends," where he discussed the Saudi journalist's killing and doubled down on his defense that it remains unclear the role the crown prince may have played in the journalist's death.

"The murder of Jamal Khashoggi was a tragic incident," Pompeo said on the show. "It was heinous. It is not something America approves of. But America has an important ally in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia."

On Wednesday, Brzezinski responded to Pompeo's interview on Fox News and said, "I understand that Donald Trump doesn't care. ... 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?"

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