Mika Brzezinski, Morning Joe

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Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski issued a televised apology Friday after she used what many considered a homophobic slur to describe Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Wednesday.

Following a segment discussing Prince Mohammed bin Salman's role in the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi—and Pompeo's evasive interview about it on Fox News—Brezinski wondered, "Is that a patriot speaking, or a wannabe dictator's butt boy? Dead serious, I'm asking: Are these the words of a patriot?" After photographer G.E. Anderson told her she shouldn't "equate homosexuality with Mike Pompeo carrying water for the murderous regime in Saudi Arabia," she admitted she was "so sorry" for her "SUPER BAD choice of words."

In spite of her immediate apology, Brzezinski's comments faced continued criticism.

Brzezinski did not appear on Morning Joe Thursday, as she had to tend to a family matter. However, she made sure to apologize in greater detail when she returned to the broadcast Friday. "I wanted to address a term that I used on this show on Wednesday that was vulgar," she said. "I knew it right away, and I tweeted that it was a terrible choice of words and that I was sorry. 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," the 51-year-old journalist continued. "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 viewers straight in the eye—I am really, really sorry."

(E! and MSNBC are both members of the NBCUniversal family.)

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