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Stephen Colbert says he doesn't regret insulting Trump

Commentary: The late-night host says that, though he used some choice words, he merely has jokes. Trump has nuclear codes.

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He feels it's a fair fight between him and Trump.

Late Show/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Sometimes, you wake up the next day, after hurling nasty words at the president, and say to yourself: "Hmm, perhaps I shouldn't have done that."

That didn't happen to Stephen Colbert.

On Monday night, the "Late Show" host lobbed some base vernacular at Donald Trump (video below).

On Wednesday night, after the #firecolbert hashtag was created when some people -- mostly, though not exclusively, on the right side of the political Twittering rainbow) -- demanded he be fired, Colbert mused: "Now, if you saw my monologue Monday, you know that I was a little upset at Donald Trump for insulting a friend of mine."

He continued: "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."

Colbert did admit on Wednesday that some of his phraseology was close to the knuckle. "While I would do it again, I would change a few words that were cruder than they needed to be."

The president, you see, had insulted CBS journalist John Dickerson during an interview in the Oval Office. (Disclosure: CBS is CNET's parent company.)

As Dickerson asked the president why he'd suggested in tweets that President Obama had wiretapped him and why he'd described his predecessor in a tweet as a "Bad (or sick) guy!", Trump dismissed Dickerson with a small wave of a hand -- or what some might interpret as a wave of a small hand.

Moreover, Trump said he preferred to call Dickerson's "Face The Nation" program "Deface The Nation."

Colbert was riled. He offered a tirade of insults rarely heard, even on late-night TV. "Mr. Trump, your presidency, I love your presidency, I call it 'Disgrace The Nation'."


After this: "you're not the POTUS, you're the BLOATUS," as well as "you're a regular Gorge Washington."

There was more, and worse. "You're turning into a real Pricktator," "you attract more skinheads than free Rogaine," and "you have more people marching against you than cancer."

Then this: "The only thing your mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin's c***-holster."

Trump, who is not shy about calling out his critics on Twitter, has reserved his tweets this week for FBI Director James Comey and Russia, among other things, and avoided calling out Colbert -- at least so far

Others, meanwhile, wondered whether Colbert's descent into vulgarity was wise. After all, Democrats are supposed to be the party of going high when their rivals go low. Some, like journalist Glenn Greenwald, regarded his Putin joke as homophobic. CBS didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

But now Colbert has and his comment seems to be: "Oh, go shove it."

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