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Colbert Defends Gay Joke About Trump And Putin: "I Have Jokes; He Has The Launch Codes"

“The only thing your mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin’s cock holster,” the host said on Monday night's Late Show With Stephen Colbert. During Wednesday's opening, Colbert planned to address the backlash that led to the #FireColbert hashtag.

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Late Show host Stephen Colbert dragged President Donald Trump on Monday with a gay joke about him and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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“The only thing your mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin’s cock holster,” Colbert said in his opening monologue.

The Late Show host was responding to Trump's interview with John Dickerson, who hosts Face the Nation — which also airs on CBS. Trump said during the interview that he liked to call the show "Deface the Nation."

Colbert said Dickerson "has way too much dignity to trade insults with a president of the United States," before adding that he, himself, did not. Colbert then went through a list of pun-y jokes that was capped off with the oral sex line about Trump and Putin.

The comment was met with laughter from the audience during the taping of the show, but people on both sides of the political spectrum quickly took to the internet to say the joke went too far.

Waaaaaaay over the line. Needs to issue a formal apology & go on several weeks of UNPAID leave. Else, #FireColbert. https://t.co/CcD09EHtvn

People called it anti-gay.

Colbert's homophobic rant was disgusting and we won't tolerate this anti-LGBTQ behavior. #FireColbert

Really sick of the "Trump and Putin are gay" "jokes". Their hetero machismo is what is ridiculous and mockable, and… https://t.co/4mhu6vAjdH

Yes, Trump and Putin have homophobic policies. But humor that rests on calling someone gay is homophobia, too,… https://t.co/w7SQ52gvx8

In Wednesday's opening monologue, Colbert was to address the controversy, according to an advance transcript sent to BuzzFeed News.

In the transcript, Colbert does not apologize for the joke, but says, "I would change a few words that were cruder than they needed to be," adding that "anyone who expresses their love for another person, in their own way, is to me, an American hero."

The transcript reads: "Welcome to The Late Show. I’m your host, Stephen Colbert.

Still? I am still the host?

I’m still the host!!

Now, if you saw my monologue Monday, you know that I was a little upset at Donald Trump for insulting a friend of mine. So at the end of that monologue 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.

"So while I would do it again, I would change a few words that were cruder than they needed to be. 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."

It remained to be seen whether the comments would temper the backlash, with people referring to the joke as hate speech.

@ggreenwald @BoomerNiner Colbert explicitly mocks gay intimacy with the cover of mocking Trump. This is hate speech… https://t.co/rHzgcId2wC

And some thought it was just disgusting.

Unfunny show has now become a disgusting show. Turning off CBS. #FireColbert

People also called for Colbert's Late Show to be boycotted.

“In fact Trump, the only thing your mouth is good for is being Putin’s cock holster” Stephen Colbert needs to be boycotted off the air.

On Tuesday, the hashtag #FireColbert had started to trend worldwide.

I'm an advocate of free speech but Colbert crossed the line. Time to go after his sponsors. #FireColbert

Some said the joke was beneath CBS.

I worked at CBS for 14 years. This is definitely not in keeping with their standards or image. https://t.co/5aOEqx7Vx9

Other people said there was a double standard.

@colbertlateshow @StephenAtHome No, calling trump a "cock holster for putin" is disgusting. So Gay jokes are OK if… https://t.co/tbpPLkQGyn

#firecolbert. If this had been said by someone at fox news leftists would have screamed for dismissal. Once again we see hypocrisy of left

People also pointed out there were better ways to insult Trump without making stuff up.

can we please stop with the Putin Trump being gay thing, if that's your go to worst thing you can say about them then you've no imagination

You can't #firecolbert for making a BJ joke about a man who bragged about molesting women. I mean, you could, but you'd look pretty dumb.

One person compared the segment to Jimmy Kimmel's moving opening monologue on Monday where he revealed his son's heart surgery while also slamming Trump's attempts to cut health funding. Jimmy Kimmel Live airs on ABC at the same time as Colbert's show.

Colbert calling Trump's mouth a "cock holster" for Putin vs. this... https://t.co/yHAQxkUEiu

Even so, there were people who didn't mind Colbert's joke, or at least thought it was an effective way to piss off the president.

@ggreenwald Whole segment was aimed directly at Trump to piss him off. A gay, Putin joke has a Trump piss off facto… https://t.co/titEbs27lX

Other people said it was a free speech issue and Colbert had a right to make the joke.

Conservatives last week: Ann Coulter has a right to freely spew her hate speech. Conservatives today: We don't like this joke #FireColbert.

Other people thought the #FireColbert movement was insincere.

GOP pretends to be offended by gay joke when they voted for a VP who wants to electrocute gays until they say they're straight #FireColbert

The dumbest hashtag in months is #FireColbert. RWNJs are whining comparing sexual harassment (O'Reilly) & a joke (Colbert).

Some people just DGAF and thought Trump deserved it.

The #FireColbert tag is hilarious. The idiots feigning outrage are defending a pig who's said worse.

When a normal human being sees that #FireColbert is trending.

Instead of #firecolbert let's get #firetrump going. His speech is far more dangerous than a few jokes. #firetrump… https://t.co/3Ik2CKe0Jn

Michelle Broder Van Dyke is a reporter and night editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Hawaii.

Contact Michelle Broder Van Dyke at michelle@buzzfeed.com.

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