President Trump is ripping into “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski for what many are calling a homophobic slur she let slip out on the show on Wednesday. In a criticism of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Brzezinski accused him of being a “butt boy” of the Saudi Crown Prince over the Trump administration’s refusal to declare nuclear war on Saudi Arabia after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Brzezinski later apologized on Twitter, which openly gay Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell criticized as insincere.
—QUOTABLE: “…[B]ut why doesn’t Mike Pompeo care right now? Are the pathetic deflections that we just heard when he appeared on ‘Fox and Friends,’ is that a patriot speaking or a wannabe dictator’s butt boy? And I’m dead serious, I’m asking, are these the words of a patriot?” -Brzezinski on the show
—QUOTABLE: “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 on Twitter
—QUOTABLE: “[A]ccepting apologies is important. We all fail. But I don’t see that you’ve actually apologized to gays? Your words demean, mock and therefore try to control whole groups by minimizing our humanity.” -Grenell on Twitter
The Senate voted Thursday to withdraw congressional support for a Saudi-led coalition’s war in Yemen. In a strong rebuke of the Trump administration, a bipartisan group of senators opted on a 56–41 vote to stop supporting the campaign against Iran-backed rebels in the Saudi peninsula country’s civil war. The move comes in response to the Saudi Crown Prince’s involvement in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The bill pulling U.S. support for the Saudi war was a rare across-the-aisle act—it was sponsored by socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and uber-conservative Republican Mike Lee of Utah. Top Trump officials, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense James Mattis urged the Senate to vote no.
There’s no doubt that the Saudi Crown Prince was deeply involved in the murder of a journalist living in the U.S., according to top CIA officials who briefed senators on Tuesday. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was definitely deeply involved in the killing of Kamal Khashoggi, intelligence officials insist, even though President Trump’s administration says there is no “smoking gun” tying the key U.S. ally directly to the October murder and dismemberment. Sen. Lindsey Graham, for one, says there is indisputable evidence and that the Crown Prince and his behavior poses a threat to the critical alliance between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.
—QUOTABLE: “There’s not a smoking gun, there’s a smoking saw (in reference to the dismemberment of Khashoggi)…It is zero chance — zero — that this happened in such an organized fashion without the crown prince.” -Graham
FOX NEWS SUNDAY
Senator Rand Paul tells Chris Wallace the Saudi account that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in a fist fight at their consulate isn’t believable. “This is just another in the line of long instances of Saudi insults to the civilized world,” Paul said. He called for ending arms sales to the Arab kingdom and reconsidering their status as an American ally.
MEET THE PRESS
Senator Thom Tillis echoed Rand Paul’s sentiment to Chuck Todd on Meet the Press: “In Saudi Arabia, you do not do something of this magnitude without having clearance from the top. We need to find out who that is and hold him accountable,” Tillis said.
THIS WEEK with GEORGE STEPHANOPOLOUS
US Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke is walking back his use of the “Lyin’ Ted” epithet he borrowed from President Trump to attack Ted Cruz. Cruz and Trump have made up, and Trump is campaigning for Cruz before Election Day. This week on the campaign trail, O’Rourke said the “Lyin’ Ted monicker” was fitting for his opponent and Trump was right to use it. But under pressure to disassociate himself in any way at all from the Commander in Chief, he apologized to ABC News: “That wasn’t the best phrase for me to use but, you know, I’m — I’m going to do my best to stay focused on the future.”
CBS FACE THE NATION
Senator Ben Sasse touted his new book, “Them,” which analyzes the deep political divide in the country. The book points to the digital revolution alienating people and removing community associations that until recently kept people together despite political differences.