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Stephen Colbert Regrets Word Choice, Not Denouncing Trump

Stephen Colbert

Addressing a controversy over his oral sex joke about Trump and Putin, Colbert said his words were "cruder" than needed.

Stephen Colbert has said he regretted his choice of words in a joke that some -- mainly supporters of Donald Trump -- called "homophobic," but he doesn't regret the overall Monday night monologue that took Trump to task.

In the monologue, which saw Colbert deliver a scathing critique of Trump's first 100 days in office and the president's rude treatment of CBS journalist John Dickerson, the Late Show host made a joke about oral sex between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying to Trump, "The only thing your mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin's cock holster." The word "cock" was bleeped on television.

Tuesday and Wednesday, many Trump partisans used the hashtag #FireColbert in angry tweets that denounced the joke as homophobic. A few LGBT people and allies joined in the campaign, but many more of them co-opted the hashtag to express continued support for Colbert, himself a reliable ally, and say he is "on fire."

Colbert addressed the matter on Wednesday night's show. "Now, folks, if you saw my monologue Monday, you know that I was a little upset with Donald Trump for insulting a friend of mine," he said, after exulting in still being the program's host. "So, at the end of that monologue, I had a few choice insults for the president in return. I don't regret that."

"While I would do it again, I would change a few words that were cruder than they needed to be," he added. "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 in their own way is to me an American hero. I think we can all agree on that."

Watch The Washington Post's annotated video below.

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