Actor Robert De Niro railed against White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, saying the “bullies” and “liars” in President Donald Trump’s administration deserved the vile jokes comedian Michelle Wolf hurled at them on Sunday during the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) Dinner.
“There was a lot of truth in Michelle Wolf’s jokes and the bullies and the liars are still intimidated by the strength and the truth. Where we run into trouble is when we allow the bullies and liars to dictate the conversation,” De Niro told the audience on Monday at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s annual Chaplin Award Gala in New York.
The Taxi Driver star shamed the WHCA after its president, Margaret Talev, Wolf’s performance, in which she viciously mocked Sanders’ looks and told a series of obscene jokes, was “not in the spirit” of the organization’s goal for the dinner.
“Shame on them!” De Niro said of the WHCA. “Stand up and strap on your balls and deal. It was the only time that I ever had any sympathy or empathy for Sarah [Huckabee] Sanders. They cut to her and all of a sudden she looked like she was hurt. I said, ‘Geez, maybe she’s a real human being.’”
The Oscar-winner also took direct shots at Sanders, questioning how she’ll bring herself to explain to her children how she “justified” protecting President Trump.
“I thought she’s got two or three kids. What is she going to tell her kids in 10 years about how she represented or protected Donald Trump?” the actor asked. “How is that going to come through? I don’t know. How could she justify, rationalize her behavior? What does it take to just walk away from that situation?”
On Tuesday, James Finkelstein, chairman of the news outlet the Hill, announced that his news organization would no longer participate in the (WHCA) dinner.
De Niro, of course, has long-derided President Trump. Last month, the 74-year-old said, “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.”