Describing the scene in the White House as Shakespearan, the Oscar-winner said, "You've got a lunatic saying things that people are trying to dance around."
Robert De Niro has never been one to mince his words when it comes to Donald Trump and he most definitely wasn't going to change that when talking about the President's handling of the pandemic. The Hollywood star slammed Trump as a "lunatic" who "doesn't even care how many people die" during an appearance on BBC Newsnight earlier this week, doubling down on his longtime criticism of the 45th President of the United States. De Niro said Trump's pandemic strategy is solely focused on getting re-elected while praising New York governor Andrew Cuomo's handling of the crisis.
Analysis: Robert De Niro reignites his feud with Trump, calling him a "lunatic" who doesn’t care about his supporters https://t.co/aNGm6K8YKQ— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) May 13, 2020
"Cuomo's done a great job. He's done what Trump should've done but he [Trump] doesn't have a clue how to do that," said De Niro. "It's scary because everybody's sort of nonplussed and stunned at what this guy is doing." Describing the scene in the White House as Shakespearan, the Oscar-winner continued: "You've got a lunatic saying things that people are trying to dance around. It's appalling, it's appalling. He wants to be re-elected, he doesn't even care how many people die." When Newsnight host Emily Maitlis pointed out that the President's supporters continue to back him, De Niro responded that they are merely deluding themselves by thinking that Trump cares about them.
"Dr. Fauci, who is all fact-based, science-based, he has more credibility on this issue, according to polls than anyone in the nation." - New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on President Trump criticizing Dr. Anthony Fauci's caution on schools reopening https://t.co/vlYDSkBwKx pic.twitter.com/09yD4BGmDF— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) May 14, 2020
"He doesn't care for those people and the people who he pretends to care about are the people he has the most disdain for," the Goodfellas star said. "They might like to tell themselves that or delude themselves, but he doesn't care about them." De Niro also stated that if Trump had taken adequate measures, the situation in America today wouldn't be as bad as it despite the fact that the pandemic has exposed broader flaws in the American system in terms of healthcare, welfare, governance, etc.
Speaking of the continued support for Trump from his fanbase, the 76-year-old said, "I think it's a cultural thing. It's like Spiro Agnew said, the so-called elitists, whatever, are elitists so they're snobs. But a lot of those people have good intentions and they want to make the country better. They don't have the intentions of Donald Trump who's a con artist and a scam artist and doesn't care about that stuff. It's that simple. They care, they want to get something done, they want to help this world, this country." De Niro went on to suggest that perhaps it was Trump's reality show The Apprentice that gained him such popularity.
"They set up the show with this guy to make him look like he's a big shot but he really isn't. It's all fake," he said. De Niro is currently isolating at his home in New York, according to Daily Mail, and speaking of how the pandemic has affected the state, he said, "It's been very strange because New York is kind of like a ghost town, it's surreal and then you see other parts of the world, other great big cities of the world, are also in the same situation. It's interesting, it's kind of like a science fiction movie but it's real."
De Niro has long been one of Trump's most vociferous critics. Discussing the impeachment inquiry against the President back in September, the actor told CNN's Brian Stelter that Trump has been worse than he "ever could have imagined." He also accused the former television personality and Fox News of playing an act "because I can't believe they would actually buy into his craziness. This guy should not be President." The actor warned at the time that Trump wouldn't accept the 2020 results if he lost the elections, saying, "He will say it's rigged or this or that. The day after he was elected, I said, well, give him a chance. You never know. You will see it. But he is the — he's worse than I ever could have imagined."