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Robert De Niro calls Trump 'a real racist,' and a 'shame'

Robert De Niro at the 17th Marrakech International Film Festival, on December 2, 2018 in Marrakech, Morocco. (Photo by Stephane Cardinale – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

Just over two months after receiving a pipe bomb in the mail from a Trump supporter, Robert De Niro is doubling down on his criticism of the president.

“When you see someone like [Trump] becoming president, I thought, well, OK, let’s see what he does — maybe he’ll change,” De Niro told The Guardian in an interview published Sunday. “But he just got worse. It showed me that he is a real racist. 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.”

The actor told the newspaper he believes Trump is a white supremacist, and when asked if he also thinks the president is a fascist, he answered, “I guess that’s what it leads to. If he had his way, we’d wind up in a very bad state in this country. 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 has six biracial children with three black women: two with his first wife, actress Diahnne Abbott; two with longtime girlfriend Toukie Smith, also an actress; and two with soon-to-be ex-wife Grace Hightower. He said this makes him feel even more concerned about the right-wing leanings of the current administration.

“Yeah, I worry, and one of my kids is gay, and he worries about being treated a certain way. We talk about it,” De Niro told the Guardian.

He also said he doesn’t regret his controversial moment at last year’s Tony Awards, in which he began presenting a reward by saying, “F*** Trump!”

“It was impromptu,” he recently told The New Yorker about his speech. “I feel that more people should speak out against him and not be genteel about it.”

Despite his worries about what Trump means for the direction of this country, De Niro also said he feels optimistic that things can change for the better if opposing leaders step up. In his interview with The New Yorker, he also had high praise for special counsel Robert Mueller, whom he’s been playing on Saturday Night Live.

“Mueller is the hope,” he said. “Mueller is our hope. And he’s doing everything — he’s doing it perfectly.”

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