Actor Robert De Niro kicked off the 17th annual Tribeca Film Festival Wednesday with a fiery speech, in which he applauded reporters as “saviors” and called President Donald Trump a “madman.”
“Look at all the Fake News writers here today,” the two-time Oscar-winner joked in front of a crowd of reporters at the Thalassa Restaurant.
“The country has had a bad year, and you — the press – have taken a lot of hits. America is being run by a madman who wouldn’t recognize the truth if it came inside a bucket of his beloved Colonel Sanders Fried Chicken,” De Niro continued. “When he doesn’t like what he hears, he dismisses it by saying it’s un-American and damning it as ‘fake news.’ But we know the truth. All thinking people do.”
“Your job is difficult enough without being attacked by our Lowlife-in-Chief. The press has done an admirable job this past year,” he said. “We’re looking at journalists as our saviors, in the same way we used to look at our political leaders.”
De Niro has long-derided Donald Trump, describing him, nearly two years ago, as “totally nuts.” The Hollywood veteran ramped up his anti-Trump talk a few months later, announcing in a celebrity voter registration PSA that he’d like to punch Trump in the face.
After Trump’s election, De Niro said he was “depressed” and said the real estate mogul winning the White House made him “feel like I did after 9/11.”
More recently, De Niro has lampooned the president on Saturday Night Live. After playing the part of special counsel Robert Mueller last week, the actor said Wednesday that he hopes to revise his role so he can interrogate Trump, “arrest him, and then I take him to jail.”