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Raging bulls: Donald Trump fires back at De Niro

April 25, 2011 |  1:11 pm


In an appearance on Saturday, Robert De Niro questioned Donald Trump's integrity. In an appearance on Monday, Trump questioned De Niro's intelligence.

Speaking to a Tribeca Film Festival audience this past weekend on the issue of politics, the actor said that some are "making statements about people they don't even back up. It's a big hustle."

He was referring, apparently, to Trump's birther crusade against President Obama. De Niro never mentioned Trump by name, but when moderator Brian Williams interjected wondering whether De Niro was referring to a personality who had a show on NBC, De Niro tacitly acknowledged it by continuing the tear against Trump: "How dare you? That's awful. Just to go out there and say things you can't back up. That's crazy."

Speaking by phone to the hosts of "Fox & Friends" on Monday morning, Trump let his own resentment fly. "Well, he's not the brightest bulb on the planet," the mogul said of De Niro. "I have been watching  over the years and I like his acting, but in terms of when I watch him doing interviews and various other things, we are not dealing with Albert Einstein." Trump went on to continue to hammer at the birther theme. (The video is below; relevant portions start at about the 3:00 mark.)

It was the second time in a week that Trump took aim at an entertainer. After Jerry Seinfeld pulled out of a Trump charity event over the birther comments, the "Celebrity Apprentice" star/producer went after Seinfeld and his failed show "The Marriage Ref," calling it "terrible."

Public interview skills have been a shaky area for De Niro -- Saturday's event further underscored it -- though it's rarely been seen by those who poke at it, including Williams and David Letterman, as a matter of intelligence so much as awkwardness or introversion.

Of course, there may be a larger end-game in Trump taking a shot at De Niro or Seinfeld: If the coiffed one is indeed serious about a bid for president, he could find worse strategies than running against liberal Hollywood.

--Steven Zeitchik



Tribeca 2011: Fitfully, Robert De Niro talks about his acting past and future (and Donald Trump)

Photo: Donald Trump addressing the CPAC convention. Credit:  Alex Brandon / Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (78)

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I would like to contribute to the Donald's campaign. there is no one I would rather have as the republican opponent to Obama. He looks to be like the perfect republican to represent the Tea Party, the wealthy, the morally lost, the shortsighted, the...well...you get the picture. Here is a man, so afraid of his own true image, that he wears a muppet on his head. A leader? I guess so...if you're a republican.

I was a registered Republican until about 15 years ago when I went independent. I am not the biggest Obama fan but is Trump seriously the best the GOP can dig up?This tool is making his case for president based on the "birther" and academic qualifications of our current president? This country has many systemic problems that have been consistent and increasing throughout both conservative and liberal administrations. His solution is to have a spat with an actor? Make a case on why the country will be more successful under your leadership than the sitting president. Otherwise shut up!

@Coach Lar - whoa, time to adjust your meds.

It seems as though, everytime someone disagrees with Donald Trump he responds with an irrelevant attack. He will call them stupid, or claim some venture they had failed, yet he will not respond to the actual comment itself. It amazes me that so many fall for this childish "I know you are but what am I" tactic.

Will Trump put his hairdresser in a trust if elected?

I'd like to see the birth certificate for that thing on Trump's head.

go Donald!!

I'll bet half the morons on this board can't produce their original birth certificate!

Trump, like many in the republican party use false allegations to appeal to their base of which 45% believe Obama was not born in the US. I say false because all of the investigations on his Hawaiian birth records have validated his birth in Hawaii including the state's governor personal validation.
Racism comes in many forms, some blatant others not so much, but to question a standing president legitimacy falls within the later, there is no other rational for taking a position that is blatantly false in its facts.
Trump is a developer, he relies on banks to create his wealth with incredible debt loaded properties, he relies on bloated valuations to make him look richer than he is, if he runs the house of cards will be exposed. Do not get me wrong, he is rich but people will be interested how many creditors ate lunch at his expense as he climbed the latter of success.

I have it on good authority that Donald Trump is an alien (extraterrestrial type). I demand that he take a DNA test to verify that he is human! And if he doesn't, what is he trying to hide?

Donald Trump is a genius. The name Trump has always stood for class and quality.

Would you say all those wonderful things about Graham if he talked about the Bible the same way he did, but then call you the miserable person that you are? Hypocrite!

All these racists calling Obama out because he is Black! I hope after Mr O.'s second term that Villaragosa becomes US president, then on to Manny Pacquiao (Oops! He is not a natural born citizen), I guess I will settle with Sanjaya. Get over it racists! The minorities have arrived! Have you ever heard of MINORITY MAJORITY? hahahahaha! Have a nice day and support your commander in chief, your president Mr Barrack HUSSEIN OBAMA!

Instead of blaming and attacking,you should really think about actually doing something. You should also make a DEAL with Libya and other countries instead of waging war and sticking America's nose in every country's problems. My cousin is in the Air Force and I am very worried for him. He might get killed by the Taliban and he has a wife waiting for him at home. You should try PEACE and REASONING instead of war and violence. I am speaking as a concerned citizen. Thank you.

In most societies actors and those in the theater were considered liars and con artists. It seems that the business has evolved but the ethics basically remain the same. All actors lie for a living, the best actors are good liars, why should we believe anything they say???

When you can't attack the issue you attack the person. Old low-brow tactic.

Hi Mike Peters - the reason Hollywood draws so much attention is because of the amount of money it moves. It's not just the box office receipts, but also, television, DVD sales and rentals, websites and online rentals, not to mention the assorted industries that support and feed off of it like: merchandise, lawyers, agents, prop houses, post production houses, etc., and of course the unions. I was in Europe for the first time this month, I was looking forward to sampling their TV programs, what did I find, US programs, *sigh*.

dinero, sheen and crew need to stick with being the rich entertainers that they are. they produce nothing of real value anyway. they are very lucky people and should count their blessings and shut up about substantive issues that simply do not exist on the planet they are so privledged to live on.

Donald Trump is going to hang himself with his stupid wagging tongue. The more he opens his mouth the more lies come out of it. He cannot bear for anyone to have an opinion different than his and expects everyone to bow down to him and say yes Mr. Trump and no Mr. Trump.

Anyone want to do that go ahead fine with me but I am against all forms of slavery.

Trump has a month or two at best.
Then his fan base of mostly Tea-Billy's and clueless extremists will have moved on to the next new blowhard.

Again with the birther nonsense. The country has major issues and we waste time with something which has been proven by the DOH of Hawaii over and over. This is just a major distraction. Wake up America, the Barbarians are at the gate.

Trump cannot take criticism and that will be his ultimate downfall. Politics is a nasty business.

How about a debate between Trump and DeNiro?

Put it on pay per view and send the proceeds to the victims of the Tornadoes or, some other worthy cause.

Well, Trump should know from "not Albert Einstein". He's in the low end of the brightness scale as well! And, if attacking DeNiro's intelligence is the best response he's got, he doesn't have much of an argument, does he?

DeNiro is THE most over-rated actor in hollywood. Come on, when was the last time he was in a movie worth watching! The guy sucks. He is the Paris Hilton of actors...he is famous for being famous. When you actually watch the crap he makes, you get wondering why you just wasted 2 hours of your life!

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