While appearing on The View Friday morning, Robert De Niro addressed controversial comments he made about wanting to punch Donald Trump in the face last year, saying his feelings haven’t changed since the former reality television host was elected president.
“I said that because he said that about somebody, that he would like to punch them in the face,” the actor told cohost Joy Behar. “How dare he say that to the crowd? How dare he say the things he does? Of course I want to punch him in the face.”
De Niro went on to clarify his comments: “It was only a symbolic thing, anyway. It wasn’t like I was going to go find him and punch him in the face. But he’s got to hear it. He’s got to hear that, you know, that’s how he makes people feel. It’s not good to feel that way. It’s not good to start that stuff up, but at the same time sometimes when people are bullies like that, that’s what you have to do to shut them up. Bully them back.”
Watch De Niro’s comments in the clip above, and skip to the 5:00 mark for his Trump talk.
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The star of The Comedian made the initial comments in previously unreleased footage for a #VoteYourFuture ad. “It makes me so angry that this country has gotten to this point that this fool, this bozo, has wound up where he has,” he said. “He talks how he’d like to punch people in the face? Well, I’d like to punch him in the face.”
De Niro has proven himself to be an outspoken opponent of the president in recent months. After Trump’s victory, the actor remarked, “I feel like I did after 9/11.” But he later noted during a Jimmy Kimmel Live appearance, “I can’t [punch him] now — he’s president.”