De Niro warns democracy ‘won’t survive’ Trump reelection

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Robert De Niro is issuing a dire warning against the country reelecting former President Trump, saying “democracy won’t survive the return of a wannabe dictator.”

“I’ve spent a lot of time studying bad men,” the “Godfather” actor said in a statement read by former Trump administration official Miles Taylor on Wednesday at The New Republic’s “Stop Trump Summit” in New York.

“I’ve examined their characteristics, their mannerisms, the utter banality of their cruelty. Yet there’s something different about Donald Trump,” De Niro said.

“When I look at him, I don’t see a bad man. Truly. I see an evil one.”

“Over the years I’ve met gangsters here and there. This guy tries to be one, but he can’t quite pull it off,” De Niro said.

“Even criminals usually have a sense of right and wrong. Whether they do the right thing or not is a different story, but they have a moral code, however warped,” the statement from the 80-year-old Academy Award winner continued.

“Donald Trump does not. He’s a wannabe tough guy. With no morals or ethics. No sense of right or wrong. No regard for anyone but himself: Not the people he was supposed to lead and protect, not the people he does business with, not the people who follow him blindly and loyally, not even the people who consider themselves as friends. He has contempt for all of them.”

Criticizing the Trump administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, De Niro said, “The man who was supposed to protect this country put it in peril because of his recklessness and impulsiveness. It was like an abusive father, ruling the family by fear and violent behavior.”

Calling the 45th president a “fool,” De Niro urged Trump’s critics not to write the 2024 White House hopeful off.

“Evil thrives in the shadow of dismissive mockery, which is why we must take the danger of Donald Trump very seriously,” De Niro, who said he was unable to attend the summit after testing positive for COVID-19, warned.

“This is our last chance. Democracy won’t survive the return of a wannabe dictator, and it won’t overcome evil if we are divided.”

But the performer — who famously received a standing ovation after cursing Trump onstage at the 2018 Tony Awards — encouraged the former commander in chief’s opponents not to be disparaging toward his supporters.

“We have to reach out to half of the country who have ignored the hazards of Trump and, for whatever reason, support elevating him back into the White House.”

“They’re not stupid and we must not condemn them for making a stupid choice,” De Niro said.

In 2018, Trump dubbed De Niro a “very low IQ individual,” saying in a social media post that the film star had “received [too] many shots to the head by real boxers in movies.”

In his statement this week, the entertainer encouraged critics to “reach out to Trump’s followers with respect” and without mentioning democracy since “they’ve already turned their backs on it.”

“Democracy may be our holy grail,” he said, but, “Let’s talk about right and wrong. Let’s talk about humanity. Let’s talk about kindness, security for our world, safety for our families, decency.”

“Let’s welcome them back,” De Niro said.

“We won’t get them all, we can get enough to end the nightmare of Trump.”

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