Director Spike Lee criticized the United States as a “volatile” and dangerous country, and questioned Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s mental competency during an event at the Berlin Film Festival on Tuesday.
Speaking to a group of mostly foreign reporters about his Chicago anti-gun violence film Chi-Raq, Lee spoke about gang violence in President Barack Obama’s hometown, before shifting the conversation toward Trump, according to Deadline.
“The United States of America is a very volatile country,” he said. “Every day, 99 Americans die due to gun violence, and two-thirds is a suicide. There’s a great battle going on. You must look at America and say, ‘What the f—k is going on?’ And, ‘Donald Trump is going to be President?’”
Lee further described Trump’s candidacy as “madness.”
The director also reportedly recalled once hosting President Obama at his home for an event, and noted seeing the so-called “nuclear football” — the briefcase that travels with the president and carries the launch codes in the event of a nuclear attack. Lee said that he was surprised to learn the president actually does travel with someone who has “nuclear football” suitcase handcuffed to his wrist.
“If you press the right numbers (inside the suitcase) it could be the end of us all. Do you want Donald Trump to hold that suitcase?” he asked.
Lee also reportedly drew praise from those at the Berlin event for saying he is supporting “Bernie Sanders from Brooklyn, New York” in the upcoming election.
Lee previously told Esquire magazine last fall he was “very intrigued” by the New York-born democratic socialist.
“I want to get to know more about him. I’m excited about him,” he told the publication of Sanders.