Joan Rivers has scoffed at calls to apologise after she claimed that President Barack Obama is gay and his wife Michelle is “a transgender”.

The 81-year-old comedian caused controversy earlier this week, after appearing at a book signing in New York and officiating at the wedding of two gay fans, when she was asked whether she thought the US would ever see a gay president.

Responding, she said: “We already have it with Obama, so let’s just calm down.”

“You know Michelle is a tranny”, she adds, and when asked to clarify, she says the first lady is “a transgender, we all know.”

Refusing calls to apologise, she said in a statement to CNN: “I think it’s a compliment. She’s so attractive, tall, with a beautiful body, great face, does great makeup.

“Take a look and go back to La Cage Au Follies [sic]. The most gorgeous women are transgender.

“Stop it already… and if you want to talk about ‘politically correct’, I think this is a ‘politically incorrect’ attack on me because I’m old, Jewish, a woman and a ‘hetty’ – a heteosexual… and I plan to sue the reporter who, when he turned off his camera, tried to touch me inappropriately on the ass – luckily he hit my ankle. Read the book… if you think that’s silly, wait [until] you see what I say about FDR and Eleanor!”

Watch the clip below: