Actor Robert De Niro appeared to soften his tone toward President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday when he was asked what message he would share with the soon-to-be 45th U.S. president.
“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,” De Niro told ITK, according to The Hill.
“We’re waiting and hoping, and we’ll see.”
De Niro spoke to ITK at the White House after receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the highest civilian honor. The 73-year-old actor joined the likes of Michael Jordan, Bruce Springsteen and Vin Scully in getting the award.
The “Raging Bull” actor’s comments appear to be a complete turnaround from the disparaging remarks he made about the real estate mogul in October.
Of Trump, De Niro said "he's a punk, he's a dog, he's a pig, he's a con, a bulls--- artist, a mutt who doesn't know what he's talking about."
"It makes me so angry that this country has gotten to this point that this fool, this bozo, has wound up where he has," De Niro added. "He talks how he'd like to punch people in the face? Well, I'd like to punch him in the face."
Leading up to Election Day, De Niro called Trump “insane” and compared him to General Jack D. Ripper who was one of Stanley Kubrick’s characters in “Dr. Strangelove.” After Trump’s election win, he told The Hollywood Reporter that it made him feel like he did after 9/11.
Tuesday, De Niro appeared more diplomatic and called the video “more symbolic.”
“After he said the things that he said, anybody would want to punch him in the face,” De Niro said. “Many people told me, ‘You said what I’d want to say.’ It’s just unacceptable to say those things in the situations that he said them in.
“I just want to see what he’s going to do.”