Late-night host Stephen Colbert fired back Wednesday night at his critics who took issue with an off-color joke about President Donald Trump, accusing the comedian of being homophobic and spurring the hashtag #FireColbert on Twitter.
"Welcome to 'The Late Show.' I'm your host, Stephen Colbert," he said at the opening of the show. "Still? I am still the host? I'm still the host!"
He went on to explain why he hurled a series of insults at Trump in his Monday show, which included making reference to a sex act between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
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"I was a little upset with Donald Trump for insulting a friend of mine," Colbert said, referring to fellow CBS TV host John Dickerson of "Face the Nation," a show Trump said he likes to call "Deface the Nation."
"So at the end of that monologue," Colbert added. "I had a few choice insults for the president in return. I don't regret that. He, I believe... can take care of himself. I have jokes; he has the launch codes. So, it's a fair fight."
Colbert didn't apologize for the sex act joke but said he might not make the same joke and offered clarification on his personal views.
"So while I would do it again, I would change a few words that were cruder than they needed to be," Colbert concluded. "Now, I’m not going to repeat the phrase, but I just want to say for the record, life is short, and anyone who expresses their love for another person, in their own way is, to me, an American hero. I think we can all agree on that. I hope even the president and I can agree on that. Nothing else, but that."