NEW YORK —Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity is vowing to continue his attacks on ABC late-night comic Jimmy Kimmel until Kimmel apologizes for a segment in which he joked about first lady Melania Trump’s accent.

The dispute between the television personalities is unusually vitriolic, with Hannity calling Kimmel a “sick, twisted, creepy, perverted weirdo” during his Fox show Friday. Kimmel, who had no show of his own Friday, returned fire via Twitter.

With late-night comedy almost uniformly opposed to President Trump and political talk dominated by conservatives, Kimmel and Hannity were playing to their audiences. The root of this flare-up was a Kimmel segment on his Monday show in which he played a film clip of Melania Trump, who was born in Slovenia, reading to children at a White House Easter celebration and mocked her accent.

“Dees and dat,” Kimmel repeated, with a laugh.

Kimmel turned to his show sidekick, Guillermo Rodriguez, and said, “you could be first lady of the United States.”

That angered Hannity, cable television’s most fervent supporter of the Republican president.

Hannity’s initial attack on Kimmel, calling him an “ass clown,” was enthusiastically countered by Kimmel, who said Hannity was the “whole ass circus.”

“Game on,” Hannity said Friday.

He rolled a series of Kimmel clips, mostly from the comedian’s days as a co-host of Comedy Central’s “The Man Show,” that featured segments showing Kimmel with an exaggerated fake erection, asking women to find something hidden in his pants and going up to random women in the street asking if they wanted to have sex with him. He also showed a clip of Kimmel in blackface.

– From news service reports

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