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Stephen Colbert on insult war with Trump: 'I won'

Posted at 6:59 AM, May 12, 2017

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Some people would be upset if the president of the United States said they had no talent, but Stephen Colbert was downright giddy about it on Thursday night.

The host of CBS' "The Late Show" opened Thursday's broadcast by firing back at President Trump, who said in an interview with Time magazine that Colbert was "a no-talent guy" and not funny.

Colbert responded with a smile.

"The president of the United States has personally come after me and my show, and there's only one thing to say ... yay!" Colbert said, clapping his hands together and laughing.

He then blew kisses to the camera and waved as his audience chanted his name.

"Mr. Trump, there's a lot you don't understand, but I never thought one of those things would be show business," Colbert said. "Don't you know I've been trying for a year to get you to say my name? And you were very restrained -- admirably restrained -- but now you did it. I won."



And Colbert has definitely been winning during the Trump administration. His show has been on a ratings streak, topping late night last week for the fourteenth consecutive week.

That's a point that even Trump has noticed.

"The guy was dying. By the way, they were going to take him off television, then he started attacking me and he started doing better," Trump told Time.

RELATED: Stephen Colbert under fire for 'homophobic' Trump joke

The president said that he had been a guest on Colbert's show when he was a candidate and that it was "the highest rating he's ever had."

In fact, Colbert's premiere in September of 2015 holds that distinction, bringing in 6.6 million viewers. Trump's guest spot scored 4.6 million viewers a few weeks later.

(And away from Colbert's regular time slot, his post-Super Bowl special in 2016 nabbed 21.1 million.)

Colbert pointed this out to Trump, saying that his appearance was highly rated but fell short of Jeb Bush's. (Bush was one of the guests for Colbert's premiere.)

"You got beat by 'low energy Jeb,'" he said. "But don't worry, you won the ratings college."

The host continued by saying that making jokes about the president have, in fact, been good for ratings.

"It's almost like a majority of Americans didn't want you to be president," Colbert said. "You know who's got really bad ratings these days? You do. Just terrible approval numbers. I hear they're thinking about switching your time slot with Mike Pence."

According to Time, Trump brought up Colbert because of a lewd joke the late night host made about him last week, which sparked an online backlash.

"What he says is filthy. And you have kids watching," Trump said. "And it only builds up my base. It only helps me, people like him."

Colbert responded to this, as well.

"I will give this to the man. You're not wrong. I do occasionally use adult language and I do it in public instead of in the privacy of an Access Hollywood bus," he said.

The host then told Trump there was one obvious way he could take "The Late Show" down.

"Resign," Colbert said. "If you did that, what would I talk about then? Except your resignation because that'd be fun."