Actor Robert De Niro has offered an apology to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for the behaviour of U.S. President Donald Trump, calling it “disgraceful.”
De Niro is in Toronto for a groundbreaking ceremony for the Nobu restaurant and hotel, a project that the Oscar-winning actor is invested in.
Taking to the podium to address a crowd of reporters and dignitaries, De Niro addressed a recent storm of tweets by Trump calling Trudeau “weak” and “dishonest.”
“I just want to make a note of apology for the idiotic behaviour of my president,” De Niro said to applause. “It’s a disgrace and I apologize to Justin Trudeau and the other people at the G7. It’s disgusting. Great to be here.”
His comments came the day after he used an expletive to refer to Trump in a televised Tony Awards show in New York.
De Niro has been an outspoken critic of Trump in the past. Speaking with CP24 afterward, he said he spoke out at the Tony Awards because he felt he had to voice a sentiment that many other Americans feel.
“It’s unacceptable, his (Trump’s) behaviour and what he did here in Canada,” De Niro said. “People have to know there are many Americans who are ashamed and embarrassed and frustrated with what this president is doing…I don’t even want to use the word president…and so (it was) just something I felt I had to say.”
Trudeau was not at the event in Toronto, but he became the focus of international headlines over the weekend when the U.S. president attacked him on Twitter just hours after he left a G7 summit hosted by Canada.
Trump left the summit early, but learned soon after that during anews conference, Trudeau told reporters that U.S. tariffs on Canada that cite national security as a rationale are “insulting” to Canadians.
Furious, Trump quickly reneged on a joint communique signed at the summit and unleashed a storm of tweets attacking Trudeau.
Canada has been trying to defuse a brewing trade war with the U.S., which recently imposed tariffs on Canadian aluminum and steel. Trudeau has called the tariffs “unacceptable” and has said that Canada will impose retaliatory tariffs on a range of U.S. products if the situation does not change.
While it was hoped that the G-7 summit could be used to help ease tensions between the two countries, the result appears to have been the opposite.
Trump’s economic adviser went on CNN Sunday to say that Trudeau had ‘stabbed Trump in the back’ with his comments on tariffs. He suggested the comments were insensitive to the fact that Trump was trying to look strong on his way to an important summit with North Korea and said there is a “special place in hell” for people like Trudeau.
De Niro said he’ll continue to speak out against Trump whenever it’s appropriate.
“People have to start voicing their opinions and be more active. This is a very serious situation we’re in,” De Niro said.
Speaking after De Niro, Mayor John Tory quipped that “you never know when a local project will intersect with international events” and offered a sly endorsement of the actor’s comments.
“Sir with regards to your comments this morning, I have just two words to say: thank you,” Tory said. “Thank you, of course, for investing in Toronto together with Chef Nobu and the other Nobu principals.”
- With files from CP24’s Karman Wong