Robert De Niro: 'Donald Trump is totally nuts'

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Film star, accepting award at Sarajevo film festival, says Republican candidate shouldn’t be running for president

Robert De Niro has become the latest celebrity to criticise Donald Trump, whom he said should not run for president because he was “totally nuts”.

The Republican candidate has been widely criticised for claiming the US president, Barack Obama, “founded” the terror group Islamic State with help from Hillary Clinton, Trump’s Democrat opponent. Trump later claimed he was just being sarcastic with his comment.

De Niro, who was speaking in Sarajevo at an event marking the 40th anniversary of Taxi Driver – the Martin Scorsese film in which he starred – described what Trump has been saying as “ridiculous” and his nomination by the Republican party as “crazy”.

The actor and producer said: “I don’t know, it’s crazy that people like Donald Trump … he shouldn’t even be where he is, so God help us,” the oscar-winning actor said to wide applause in the Sarajevo national theatre. “What he’s been saying is really totally crazy, ridiculous … he is totally nuts.”

De Niro added: “But I think now they are really starting to push back, the media … finally they are starting to say, ‘come on Donald, this is ridiculous, this is nuts, this is insane.’” Trump has blamed US news media for taking many of his comments out of context.

De Niro joins a long list of celebrities who have spoken out against the presidential hopeful. Jennifer Lawrence recently told BBC1’s Graham Norton: “If Donald Trump is president of the United States, it will be the end of the world.”

Prof Stephen Hawking was asked by a chat show host to explain the popularity of the former reality TV star. The scientist replied: “I can’t. He’s a demagogue who seems to appeal to the lowest common denominator.”

Author Stephen King has described Trump as a “rabid coyote with bad hair”, while singer Cher described him as “an arrogant asshole” with an “ego the size of Texas”.

De Niro was given the lifetime achievement award for his contribution to film on Friday night at the Sarajevo film festival, which was founded as an act of defiance towards the end of the city’s 1992-1995 siege during the Bosnian war.

“I will treasure this award – my Heart of Sarajevo – because I don’t think there is another city in the world that has shown such heart in the face of so much tragedy,” De Niro said as he accepted the award.

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