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The 77-year-old actor has been a vocal critic of the president ever since he took office. During an appearance on MSNBC’s “The Beat” Monday, De Niro unpacked the 2020 race with host Ari Melber.
The star opened his segment by reiterating a claim he’s made several times in the past, likening the Trump administration’s relationship to the public to someone being trapped in an abusive relationship.
He went on to call out what he sees as authoritarian behavior from Trump, likening him to “wannabe dictators” throughout history before praising Biden.
“It’s the same playbook as Mussolini, as Hitler, as wannabe dictators. It’s what they’re going to do for the people, make Germany great again, make Italy great again, make America great again. It’s all appealing to the worst prejudices, the worst weaknesses of the public and instead of leading them and guiding them and being someone that they can look up to,” he said of Trump. “And when the public is not right, you have to be [there] to do the right thing and set an example for them. And if you don’t, then we’re going to be where we are today.”
Robert De Niro said he’s “confounded” by Trump supporters. (Steve Granitz/WireImage)
He added: ”Thank God we’re out of this. We’re going to be in other things but thank God with Biden… he’s going to bring us into calm waters.”
Toward the end of his segment, De Niro pulled no punches in coming after those who still voted to give Trump a second term in office after the host asked him about his many roles as a tough guy and how that attitude may have impacted Americans.
“I’m an actor, I do those parts, I enjoy them, but I’d like to even think in all of those parts there‘s a certain dignity somewhere buried in there that I don’t think a person like Trump, I know he doesn’t have,” De Niro explained. “There’s no center. You have to have a center no matter who you are… It’s like somebody defying gravity. They’ll never do it. That’s why we have rules, that’s why we have laws, that’s why we have judges, that’s why we have structure. If we don’t have that, we have nothing. We have chaos, we have anarchy.”
He added: “It confounds me how he got to be elected but he did, crazy things happen. But that’s what we need in a leader, in any leader and that’s what we’re going to get with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. She’s tough, she’s tougher, she’ll do the things that maybe he wouldn’t do or can’t do but I’m hoping she will do them.”
“I’m not like political, but I was so angry and so enraged and confounded that he would actually behave the way he did and that people bought it,” he said in closing. “Now I see many, many, many people in the country feel this way. I’m sad about other people who don’t. They’ve accepted him and would have voted for him and have voted for him. I don’t know why. That’s all that it was from the very beginning. Just how could this guy behave this way? That’s all.”
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