Robert De Niro; former police officers slam Trump outside New York hush money trial

Robert De Niro; former police officers slam Trump outside New York hush money trial

Actor Robert De Niro and two former Capitol Police officers, Harry Dunn and Michael Fanone, took to the streets outside the Manhattan courthouse on Tuesday to voice their concerns about former President Donald Trump. The event, organized by President Joe Biden’s campaign, aimed to highlight the perceived dangers Trump poses to the country if he were to be re-elected.

De Niro, a native New Yorker, did not mince words. “I love this city,” he declared. “Donald Trump wants to destroy not only this city but the country, and eventually he could destroy the world.” The actor, known for his outspoken criticism of Trump, described the former president as a “clown” and a “threat” to American democracy. He lamented that Americans had been duped by Trump’s “outrageous lies and empty promises” in 2016, leading to a presidency that he believes has endangered the nation.

The press conference was strategically held near the courthouse where Trump’s criminal hush money trial is ongoing. De Niro’s presence was part of a broader effort by the Biden campaign to capitalize on the media attention surrounding the trial. The actor recently lent his voice to an anti-Trump ad for the Biden campaign, emphasizing the violence and chaos he associates with Trump’s leadership.

De Niro’s remarks were echoed by Dunn and Fanone, both of whom defended the Capitol during the January 6 insurrection. Dunn, who recently lost a Democratic primary bid for Congress, called Trump the “greatest threat to our democracy.” He recounted the vitriol directed at him and his colleagues on January 6, stating, “We’ve been called traitors, just today. We were all called traitors on Jan. 6 for doing our job.”

Fanone, who suffered a heart attack after being assaulted by rioters on January 6, spoke emotionally about the violence he endured. “I came here today to remind Americans of what Donald Trump is capable of and the violence that he unleashed on all Americans on Jan. 6, 2021,” he said. His testimony served as a stark reminder of the physical and emotional toll the insurrection took on law enforcement officers.

The Biden campaign’s decision to hold the event outside the courthouse marked a shift in strategy. Until now, they had largely avoided engaging with Trump’s criminal trial. However, the campaign saw an opportunity to leverage the media presence and refocus the narrative on Trump’s role in the January 6 insurrection and the broader implications for American democracy.

Trump’s campaign was quick to respond. Senior adviser Jason Miller dismissed De Niro as a “washed-up actor” and accused the Biden campaign of politicizing the trial. “The Biden folks have finally done it. After months of saying politics had nothing to do with this trial, they showed up and made a campaign event out of a trial day for President Trump,” Miller said.

Despite the criticism, De Niro remained resolute. He warned that a second Trump presidency would spell the end of many freedoms Americans take for granted. “If Trump returns to the White House, you can kiss these freedoms goodbye that we all take for granted,” he said. “And the elections, forget about it. That’s all done. If he gets in, I can tell you right now, he will never leave.”

The actor’s impassioned speech was met with both support and hostility. At one point, De Niro engaged in a heated exchange with a Trump supporter who accused Dunn and Fanone of lying under oath and called them “traitors.” De Niro defended the officers, stating, “They stood there and fought for us, for you. For you!”

Fanone and Dunn also took the opportunity to address the ongoing threat they believe Trump poses. “Americans need to wake up,” Dunn said. “This is not a drill.” He emphasized that defeating Trump at the ballot box is crucial to preserving democracy. “We can’t count on these institutions to stop Donald Trump. It’s going to take us Americans at the ballot box to defeat him once and for all.”

The event underscored the high stakes of the upcoming election. With Trump facing multiple legal battles and Biden seeking re-election, the political landscape is fraught with tension. The Biden campaign’s decision to bring De Niro and the former officers to the forefront highlights their strategy to remind voters of the chaos and violence associated with Trump’s presidency.

As the trial continues, both campaigns are likely to intensify their efforts to sway public opinion. For now, the streets outside the Manhattan courthouse have become a battleground for the future of American democracy, with Robert De Niro and former police officers leading the charge against Donald Trump.