Actor Robert De Niro ramped up his recent attacks on U.S. President Donald Trump by apologizing to Canadians on Monday for the American leader’s conduct and commentary following the G7 summit in Quebec.
De Niro’s latest salvo lacked the profanity that accompanied his first rant against the president, which was delivered to enthusiastic cheers at Sunday’s Tony Awards in New York City, but it was just as scathing.
“I just want to make a note of apology for the idiotic behaviour of my president,” De Niro said in Toronto while attending a ground-breaking ceremony for a new luxury restaurant and hotel complex.
“It’s a disgrace. And I apologize to (Prime Minister) Justin Trudeau, too.”
Hours after agreeing to a joint communique with his G7 allies on Saturday, Trump tweeted that he had told his officials to abandon American support for the document and blamed Trudeau for the move.
The president said Trudeau had made “false statements” at a summit news conference and went on to call the prime minister “very dishonest and weak.” Trump then threatened to go after Canada’s auto industry, a mainstay of the Ontario economy, in the same way he has already targeted the country’s steel and aluminum sectors.
At a G7 news conference, Trudeau had referred to the national security premise behind recently imposed steel and aluminium tariffs as “kind of insulting” — language he had used several times on the issue in the last two weeks.
On Sunday, Trump’s top economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Trudeau made the president look weak ahead of his high-stakes summit this week with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, while trade adviser Peter Navarro said there was a “special place in hell” for the prime minister.
The remarks from American officials prompted a former U.S. ambassador to Canada to call for an apology, saying both Trudeau and the Canadian people were being subjected to “insulting and inappropriate remarks.”
De Niro’s comments on Monday echoed that call.
It marked the second time in 24 hours that the academy award-winning actor had lashed out at the U.S. president.
Before introducing Bruce Springsteen at Sunday’s Tony Awards, De Niro began by launching an expletive at the president while pumping his arms for emphasis. And then he did it again. Many in the audience stood and cheered, while TV censors quickly bleeped out the offending words.
“Bruce, you can rock the house like nobody else and even more importantly in these perilous times, you rock the vote, always fighting for, in your own words, truth, transparency and integrity in government,” De Niro went on to say of Springsteen. “Boy, do we need that now.”
Trudeau has not issued any public remarks about Trump’s latest attacks.
Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press