Robert De Niro defends controversial press conference outside NY Trump trial: ‘I had to do something’

Robert De Niro defends controversial press conference outside NY Trump trial: 'I had to do something'

Legendary actor Robert De Niro explained why he spoke out against former President Trump during the wind down of Trump’s New York hush money trial last week.

The “Heat” star spoke to NBC’s “TODAY” about his controversial appearance at the Biden campaign’s press conference outside the Manhattan courthouse. He said it was important for him to speak out against a political leader who he previously said would “destroy” the country and the world if re-elected.

“We’re in a very bad situation,” De Niro told show co-host Craig Melvin. 


The famous mob film star generated headlines last week for joining Biden campaign communications director Michael Tyler, DC Metropolitan Police Department Officer Michael Fanone and former Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn at a press conference outside the courtroom where Trump would later be convicted of 34 counts of falsifying business records.

During his remarks on May 28, De Niro painted a dark picture of Trump. 

“I hope this new ad campaign reaches outside the bubble to remind supporters of what a danger he is to our lives. This is not a threat. This is our reality. And that’s why I’ve joined the Biden-Harris campaign, because the only way to preserve our freedoms and hold on to our humanity is to vote for Joe Biden for president” he said. 

He also declared, “Donald Trump wants to destroy not only the city, but the country. And eventually he could destroy the world.”

The event became an even greater spectacle as De Niro engaged with pro-Trump protesters and hecklers, who had begun to shout him down. 


De Niro’s alliance with the Biden-Harris campaign – which also involved him narrating an anti-Trump political ad – prompted the National Association of Broadcasters to rescind a prestigious award it was prepared to give him in the coming weeks. 

The group, which described its event as “proudly bipartisan,” told The Hill, “While we strongly support the right of every American to exercise free speech and participate in civic engagement, it is clear that Mr. De Niro’s recent high-profile activities will create a distraction from the philanthropic work that we were hoping to recognize.”

Despite the public fallout, De Niro defended his actions to the “TODAY” crew on Tuesday. 

Speaking of Trump’s behavior, he said, “What we have here is a denial of truth, all over the place.”

Condemning Trump’s reaction to his Thursday guilty verdict, he continued, “And even the speech that he made after is insane. It’s just insane, and I’m very, very concerned about it. I think we all are.”

He concluded, “So that’s why I felt that I had to do something – say something about it, to go on record.”

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