Robert De Niro Blasts Donald Trump Over Obama Remarks

Jason Kempin/Getty Images
Robert De Niro

"Don't go out there and say things unless you can back them up. How dare you?" says the Tribeca Film Festival co-founder.

Robert De Niro, who campaigned for President Barack Obama in 2008, isn't happy about criticism the nation's leader has received recently from Donald Trump, a possible contender for the upcoming Republican presidential nomination.

During a public interview with NBC News' Brian Williams on Saturday night at the Tribeca Film Festival, which De Niro co-founded, the notoriously tough interviewee grew passionate when the conversation turned to politics, according to published reports.

Speaking about the potential government shutdown, De Niro said: "How did we get to this point? ... This is crazy. And I know Obama was trying to bridge the gap. His intentions are really good. Maybe some things are not as good as we all would like, but his intentions were right. A lot of these guys, they're intentions are not even good. They're just playing the game. And they're playing with people's lives."

He then seemingly turned his focus to so-called "birthers," Republicans like Trump who have called Obama's birth certificate into question.

"I won't mention names, but certain people in the news the last couple weeks, just, what are they doing?" De Niro said. "It's crazy. They're making statements about people that they don't even back up. Go get the facts before you start saying things about people."

When Williams asked whether De Niro might be talking about someone who has a show "on my network on Sunday night," referring to Trump's The Celebrity Apprentice, De Niro confirmed that he was indeed talking about the real estate mogul.

"It's like a big hustle; It's like being a car salesman," De Niro added. "Don't go out there and say things unless you can back them up. How dare you? That's awful to do. To just go out and speak and say these terrible things? Unless you just wanna get over and get the job. It's crazy."

De Niro isn't the first celebrity upset over Trump's comments. Last week, Jerry Seinfeld pulled out of a charity event hosted by Trump's son because he was becoming become "increasingly uncomfortable" with Trump's recent questioning of Obama's citizenship, according to his manager.