“I just want to make a note of apology for the idiotic behavior of my president,” De Niro said, his comment prompting cheers from the crowd.
The actor was attending a groundbreaking ceremony for a development in downtown Toronto along with celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa, Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported. De Niro is a co-owner of the Nobu restaurant business.
After the applause subsided, De Niro reiterated his apology, this time focusing on Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, and “the other people” at the Group of Seven summit that took place last weekend.
“It’s a disgrace,” he said in reference to Trump’s recent behavior. “It’s disgusting.”
Tensions between Trump and Trudeau are at an all-time high after the two leaders disagreed about trade at the summit.
In two tweets that announced the end of U.S. support for the joint G-7 statement, Trump claimed that Trudeau made “false statements” during a previous news conference and went on to lambaste the Canadian leader.
“PM Justin Trudeau of Canada acted so meek and mild during our @G7 meetings …” Trump tweeted, adding that Trudeau was “Very dishonest & weak.”
Echoing Trump’s sentiments, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro also spoke harshly about Trudeau on Fox News Channel over the weekend.
“There’s a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad-faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door,” Navarro said. “And that’s what bad faith Justin Trudeau did with that stunt news conference.”
During a news conference Sunday when Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland was asked about Navarro’s comments, she said, “Canada does not believe that ad hominem attacks are a particularly appropriate or useful way to conduct our relations with other countries.”
In Toronto on Monday, Mayor John Tory, who attended the same event De Niro spoke at, also took note of the actor’s Tony Awards outburst, the Toronto Star reported.
“Sir, with regard to the comments in the news today, I have only two words to say: Thank you,” Tory said.
After the ceremony, Tory said many Canadians related to De Niro’s “strongly held views.”
“A lot of Canadians would be more than a bit upset at the kind of attitude portrayed toward Canada,” he said, referring to what Trump and his advisers have said. “When somebody is taking on Canada, they’re taking Toronto on, too … but you won’t hear any f-bombs from me.”
De Niro’s negative opinions about Trump are nothing new.
In March, he called the president an “idiot” who “lacks any sense of humanity or compassion,” People reported.
A month later during the opening night of the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival, De Niro referred to Trump as the “lowlife-in-chief,” HuffPost reported.
“America is being run by a madman who wouldn’t recognize the truth if it came inside a bucket of his beloved Colonel Sanders Fried Chicken,” De Niro said.
In an interview with CBC Toronto after Monday’s event, De Niro said he is angry and frustrated with Trump’s behavior, adding that he has “no choice but to speak out.”
“This guy just is a jerk,” he said.