“Welcome to The Late Show. I’m your host, Stephen Colbert. Still? I am still the host? I’m still the host!!” the late-night host, 52, said during Wednesday’s opening monologue, according to a transcript of the CBS broadcast obtained by PEOPLE.
“Now, if you saw my monologue Monday, you know that I was a little upset at Donald Trump for insulting a friend of mine,” Colbert said in reference to CBS News reporter John Dickerson, whose interview was abruptly ended when he questioned Trump about his unconfirmed accusations of wiretapping.
“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 continued.
Concluding, “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.”
Some deemed Colbert’s remarks about Trump and Vladimir Putin “homophobic.”
“Sir, you attract more skinheads than free Rogaine,” the CBS emcee said amid a string of insults on Monday. “You have more people marching against you than cancer. You talk like a sign language gorilla who got hit in the head. In fact, the only thing your mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin’s c–k holster.”
The monologue itself fueled the #FireColbert campaign, but the last remark sparked an enraged Internet wave on its own.
The Late Show airs weeknights (11:35 p.m. ET) on CBS.