Robert De Niro fears Donald Trump will serve as an inspiration for future would-be despots who will “get much further and do more damage” than the president.
The actor has unloaded ― once again ― on the president in a sweeping interview with The Guardian in which he also referred to the commander in chief as a “real racist” and white supremacist.
“If he had his way, we’d wind up in a very bad state in this country,” he said. “I mean, the way I understand it, they laughed at Hitler. They all look funny. Hitler looked funny, Mussolini looked funny and other dictators and despots look funny.”
De Niro, who has previously referred to Trump as a “scumbag” and a “pig,” added that it bothers him that people will see the president “as an example” to follow.
“But they’ll be a lot smarter and have many more colors to their personality and be more mercurial and become someone with the same values as he has but able to get much further and do more damage as a despot,” he said. “That’s my worry. There are people who look up to him: ‘I want to be like him.’ But they’ll do it much better and they’ll be more smart about it.”
De Niro hinted that he was optimistic Trump would change upon securing the presidency after his divisive election campaign but said instead “he just got worse.”
“It showed me that he is a real racist,” he said. “I thought maybe as a New Yorker he understands the diversity in the city but he’s as bad as I thought he was before ― and much worse. It’s a shame. It’s a bad thing in this country.”
Last June, De Niro was met with a standing ovation after declaring “Fuck Trump” twice while onstage at the Tony Awards.
“It’s no longer ‘Down with Trump,’ it’s ‘Fuck Trump,’” he said.
The president responded in a tweet, referring to him as a “very Low IQ individual” who had “received too many shots to the head by real boxers in movies.”
Read De Niro’s full interview with The Guardian here.