Robert De Niro Now Willing To Give Donald Trump The Benefit Of The Doubt

Actor Robert De Niro seems to be back-pedaling on some of his aggressive criticism of President-elect Donald Trump.

Reacting to De Niro’s newfound wait-and-see approach to the 45th commander-in-chief, “The actor’s comments are a stark departure from the combative stance he had taken toward Trump during the campaign,” Breitbart News noted.

In the run-up to the 2016 election, De Niro cut a get-out-the-vote video in which he described the Republican presidential nominee as blatantly stupid, a punk, and a pig, among other terms of endearment, along with expressing a desire to punch Trump in the face.

The footage prompted fellow Oscar winner Jon Voight to spar with him on Twitter and release his own pro-Trump video which he called a “plea to save America.” In the narration, Voight claimed that “Robert De Niro is a millionaire, as are so many of our Hollywood stars who are voting for Hillary, and who have absolutely no tolerance for anyone with a different opinion, forgetting that that is what our country is founded on: freedom of choice. But they will not be affected by Hillary’s open borders. Only our poor and middle class will suffer.”

In a recent Hollywood Reporter podcast, the very depressed Hillary Clinton supporter and Godfather II and Raging Bull Academy Award recipient reportedly likened Trump’s election to how he felt after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center.

De Niro was one of 21 luminaries who received a Medal of Freedom yesterday from President Obama in a White House ceremony.

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The movie tough-guy legend who starred in Goodfellas and Casino now says that his desire to slug Trump was symbolic in nature in response to Trump’s offensive rhetoric and that he has some degree of hope for the Trump administration, according to The Hill which apparently spoke to De Niro yesterday in D.C.

“I would only say that we’re all hoping, waiting and hoping, that he will lead the country in a way that’ll benefit everyone and benefit our neighbors around the world…We’re waiting and hoping, and we’ll see…Now he’s president-elect, and I just want to see what he’s going to do.”

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In a separate interview about a week ago, De Niro similarly remarked that while half of America and parts of the world are horrified over Trump’s victory, “I give the benefit of the doubt that he’s going to do — try his best to do the right thing because if he doesn’t do the right thing, it will affect him and his family too. So we’re all in this together.”

Apart from politics, the Hollywood icon, 73, has been showing up in a series of underwhelming movies one after another of late and is currently promoting a new film called The Comedian.

In a callback to the hilarious Meet the Parents (2000) which starred Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller, Truth Revolt seemed less than impressed with De Niro’s more conciliatory attitude toward the new president.

“Though De Niro’s more measured tone towards Trump is welcome, he has not apologized for insulting half the country by comparing the election Trump to the terrorist attacks on 9/11, equating roughly 60 million Americans with Islamic terrorists who murdered close to 3,000 people on that fateful day in 2001. He also refused to pose in a photograph with actor Arnold Schwarzenegger over his potential support for Trump, telling him flatly, ‘I want nothing to do with you.’ De Niro very clearly has a limited ‘circle of trust.'”

Schwarzenegger announced in October that he wouldn’t vote for Trump, the first time he would cast a presidential ballot for someone other than a Republican following the Access Hollywood locker-room talk controversy. The Terminator star said at the time that he was putting the best interests of the country above party affiliation, Politico chronicled.

Ironically perhaps, Schwarzenegger was also hit with last-minute groping allegations before the 2003 California gubernatorial recall election in which he was nonetheless elected governor of the Golden State. In a further irony, Arnold is taking over as the host of the NBC Celebrity Apprentice reality show from Donald Trump.

[Featured Image by Andrew Harnik/AP Images]