The world is suffering from the real Donald Trump: Robert De Niro | world news | Hindustan Times
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The world is suffering from the real Donald Trump: Robert De Niro

The NBR awards show wasn’t as political as the Golden Globes, but De Niro was withering in his criticism of Donald Trump in his speech introducing best actress award winner Meryl Streep

world Updated: Jan 10, 2018 23:07 IST
HT Correspondent
File photo of Robert De Niro speaking at the
File photo of Robert De Niro speaking at the "We Stand United" rally on the eve of US President Donald Trump's inauguration outside Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York on January 19, 2017. (AFP)

Hollywood veteran Robert De Niro used his speech at the National Board of Review Awards Gala to take pot shots at President Donald Trump, describing him as the “baby-in-chief” and an “idiot” and referring to how he evaded the draft during the Vietnam War.

The NBR awards show wasn’t as political as the Golden Globes, but De Niro was withering in his criticism of Trump in a profanity-laced speech while introducing Meryl Streep, the winner of the best actress prize for Steven Spielberg’s The Post.

“Our government today, with the propping of our baby-in-chief – the J***off-in-chief, I call him – has put the press under siege, ridiculing it through trying to discredit it through outrageous attacks and lies,” he said on Tuesday night, according to a transcript obtained by The New York Times.

“This f***ing idiot is the president. It’s The Emperor’s New Clothes – the guy is a f***ing fool,” he said during the show that wasn’t televised.

The Post is based on the publication by The Washington Post of the leaked Pentagon Papers, a secret study of the US involvement in Vietnam from the mid-1940s. Trump had evaded being drafted into the US Army during the Vietnam War in 1968 after a doctor diagnosed he had “bone spurs” in his heels.

De Niro referred to the diagnosis while taking a dig at Trump. He noted that The Post was based on events that occurred nearly 50 years ago but had many parallels today.

“At the time of the story, Donald Trump was suffering from ‘bone spurs’. Today, the world is suffering from the real Donald Trump,” he said.

De Niro, who backed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, had earlier targeted Trump in a video, which featured him saying: “I’d like to punch him in the face.”

Streep and Tom Hanks, who won the best actor award, have both come out in support of the press.

Steven Spielberg, while making a speech after accepting the best film award for The Post, referred to the current “oppression” of the media and the instability of the US and quoted former president Barack Obama’s remarks that democracy can be dangerously “reversible”.