Stephen Colbert People Who 'Holster' Penises Are American Heroes

5/4/2017 6:46 AM PDT

Stephen Colbert gave the weirdest apology/non-apology in recent memory ... sort of walking back his presidential male-on-male oral sex joke ... seemingly saying gay men who partake are "American Heroes."

Colbert was criticized by some who felt his remark during Monday night's monologue -- "The only thing your mouth [Trump's] is good for is being Vladimir Putin's cock holster" -- was homophobic.

Colbert began Wednesday night's monologue by saying he had "no regrets" about his rant and he'd do it again, but then he walked it back.

Colbert says some of his language was cruder than necessary, and "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."