On Wednesday, MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski called Secretary of State Mike Pompeo a “wannabe dictator’s butt boy” after he deflected questions concerning the near-certain involvement of Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) in journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s killing on Fox & Friends, per Business Insider. Though we’re no admirers of Pompeo and his handling of the situation (or lack thereof) either, Brzezinski’s insult is a step too far.
The host was quickly met with accusations of homophobia and told her word choice implicated homosexuality as equivalent to Pompeo’s support of the crown prince’s authoritarianism. Twitter users lit up her account, pointing out that her insult was more akin to Trumpian strategy than anything else, though, thankfully, Brzezinski was quick to respond with an apology. At the time of this writing, it appears that she’s not facing any repercussions from her place of employment.
It does point to a deep issue in liberal circles: Insulting the opposition is one thing, but doing so with bigoted remarks is part of the problem. Brzezinski’s misstep is similar to equating Trump and Putin’s potential collusion to homosexuality, and just as wrong. Pompeo is a dirtbag; a spineless, traitorous one at that. But calling him gay as an insult is sophomoric and deprecating to the LGBTQ+ community.
Pompeo is writing off the implications that MBS gave the order to Jamal Khashoggi, in spite of classified evidence that even Lindsey Graham, staunch defender of conservatism and Donald Trump, said you’d have to be “willfully blind” not to see as connecting MSB to the killing. Graham even asserted, along with other GOP senators, that Pompeo was purposefully misleading the Republican party.
In his interview with Fox & Friends on Wednesday morning, Pompeo kept to his story, implying that rumors of the CIA being highly confident in its findings on the crown prince’s involvement were false. Take a second and consider this. Even Fox & Friends is grilling Trump’s Secretary of State on Khashoggi’s murder. When the conservatives’ immovable bastion is not on his side, there’s no one left to run to. Pompeo cited the friendship the States have with Saudi Arabia and not wanting to put it in jeopardy as reason enough to take pause before implicating MBS. He probably meant he didn’t want to put Trump’s friendship with the Saudis in peril.