De Niro dropped by the TODAY show Tuesday morning to promote the new Broadway adaptation of his 1993 directorial debut A Bronx Tale, and explained to host Matt Lauer that he believed calls to boycott Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration are warranted.
“I think they are. I think that whatever people do, they should do it fully because there’s a lot of crazy stuff happening now,” De Niro said. “It’s just crazy. And maybe it’s an act, and we’ll see once he’s in, but everybody has to be on guard.”
Lauer followed up by asking the Oscar winner whether or not there comes a time to support democracy no matter who’s in power, to which De Niro responded with a variation of an old saying, “Do you believe what you see, or do you believe what I tell you?” The actor eventually ended his Trump comments with, “We all know what I’m talking about.”
This is not the first time De Niro has spoken out about his feelings toward Trump. The actor has long been critical of Trump’s political ambitions — in 2011, he likened Trump to a car salesman with “a big hustle,” and in August he described Trump as “totally nuts” and unfit to lead America. A month before Election Day, he said in an outtake for a celebrity endorsement video that he’d “like to punch [Trump] in the face” (after the election, De Niro said he “can’t do that now — he’s the president”).
Following Meryl Streep’s passionate acceptance speech at the Golden Globes on Jan. 8, in which she referenced Trump mocking a reporter for his disability and condemned his “bullying” without ever mentioning Trump by name, De Niro penned a note expressing his support for the actress and her remarks.
“What you said was great. It needed to be said, and you said it beautifully,” he wrote. “I have so much respect for you that you did it while the world was celebrating your achievements. I share your sentiments about punks and bullies. Enough is enough.”