Mika Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBC's "Morning Joe," called Secretary of State Mike Pompeo a "butt-boy" during Wednesday's show.
She quickly walked back the remarks and apologized when she realized what a stir her comments would make.
So, why did she call him that?
Brzezinski was addressing Pompeo's response to the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Pompeo defended Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman after Khashoggi's violent death, and this apparently did not sit well with Brzezinski.
The secretary of state also appeared on Wednesday's "Fox & Friends," where he discussed Khashoggi's murder 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. "It was heinous. It is not something America approves of. But America has an important ally in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."
Brzezinski responded to Pompeo's interview 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?"
MSNBC apparently attempted to cut Brzezinski's mic, but the remark still went through.
"I'm dead serious," she persisted. "I'm asking, are these the words of a patriot?"
. @morningmika responds to Mike Pompeo downplaying Saudi Arabia murdering dissident journalist and US resident Khashoggi by asking, "are the pathetic deflections that we just heard -- is that a patriot speaking? Or a wannabe dictator's butt boy?" pic.twitter.com/xO6VmSqVpa
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 12, 2018
What happened next?
Brzezinski immediately went on to issue an apology for the remarks.
She received heavy blowback for the use of the term on Twitter.
In response to one user who questioned her remarks, Brzezinski wrote, "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 [who was on 'Morning Joe'] too! SO SORRY!"
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! https://t.co/zIqsGdK3Tk
— Mika Brzezinski (@morningmika) December 12, 2018