‘He cannot be president again’: De Niro turns up outside Trump trial

Robert De Niro insisted Donald Trump “should not be allowed” to be president of the United States again after turning up outside his criminal hush money trial in New York.

The Oscar-winning actor branded the former president a “monster” as he spoke to reporters in Lower Manhattan, accusing Mr Trump of wanting to destroy the city and the country.

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He was joined by two former police officers who were at the Capitol riots on January 6 2021 as he appeared outside the courthouse on behalf of President Joe Biden’s campaign team, which has largely ignored Mr Trump’s legal battles thus far.

A top President Biden campaign adviser said they were not there to talk about the trial – and De Niro and the officers did not reference the criminal case directly.

“We’re not here today because of what’s going on over there,” Biden campaign communications director Michael Tyler told reporters, gesturing towards the courthouse.

“We’re here today because you all are here.”

The court is hearing the closing arguments in the case where the former president is accused of falsifying business records to cover up hush money payments to the adult actress Stormy Daniels.

Actor Robert De Niro speaks during a news conference outside the court where former U.S. President Donald Trump during Trump's criminal trial on charges that he falsified business records to conceal money paid to silence porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016, in Manhattan state court New York City, U.S., May 28, 2024. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Pic: Reuters

‘Trump’s a monster’ – De Niro

Speaking to Sky News, De Niro said: “You know my view of Donald Trump, he’s a monster.

“He should not be allowed… listen – he cannot be president of the United States again, never, ever.

“People know that, and many people know that and are afraid to say something, but people have to speak up now and say, and acknowledge to themselves that he’s a monster, and they might be afraid, but they’ve got to speak up.

“This is the moment of truth for this country. Period.”

Asked what his fear was surrounding the upcoming verdict in the hush money trial, he added: “If it’s a hung jury or whatever it is, he’ll use it with his big mouth. He’ll use it and say a bunch of stuff as usual, and the people like the ones behind us yelling [pro-Trump protesters], they’ll go ‘yeah, yeah, yeah’.

“But the fact is whether he is acquitted, whether it’s a hung jury, whatever, he is guilty and we all know that.

“I have never seen a guy get out of so many legal situations, and we all know this, get out when he shouldn’t have.”

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Pic: Reuters
Pic: Reuters

As he left the scene, the 80-year-old, famed for his roles in Goodfellas and The Godfather, accused a crowd of Trump supporters who had gathered of being “gangsters” before getting into a car.

However, Mr Trump’s team argued in a duelling press conference that the presence of the Taxi Driver star validated the Republican’s claim that his prosecutions are political.

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Mr Trump’s senior campaign adviser, Jason Miller, called De Niro – who won Oscars for his roles in The Godfather: Part II and Raging Bull – “a washed-up actor” and said the pro-Biden news conference proved Trump’s arguments that the trial, like the others the former president is facing, was motivated by politics.

“After months of saying politics had nothing to do with this trial, they showed up and made a campaign event out of a Lower Manhattan trial day for President Trump,” Mr Miller said.

Karoline Leavitt, the Trump campaign’s press secretary, called the Biden campaign “desperate and failing” and “pathetic” and said its event outside the trial was “a full-blown concession that this trial is a witch hunt that comes from the top”.

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