Biden Campaign Shows Up Outside Trump Trial

After De Niro spoke, Trump staffers slammed him as a 'washed-up actor'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 28, 2024 6:48 PM CDT
Outside Trump Trial, De Niro Speaks for Biden Campaign
Robert De Niro, center, argues with a Trump supporter.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

President Biden's campaign showed up outside Donald Trump's New York City criminal hush-money trial Tuesday with actor Robert De Niro and a pair of former police officers in an effort to refocus the presidential race on the former president's role in the Capitol attack. It was a sharp about-face for Biden's team, which had largely ignored the trial since it began six weeks ago and is now looking to capitalize on its drama-filled closing moments, sending the Goodfellas actor and the first responders who were at the Capitol on Jan. 6, the AP reports.

  • A top Biden adviser said they weren't there to talk about the trial—and De Niro and the officers didn't reference the sordid criminal case directly— rather to exploit the large media focus on the legal proceedings. But Trump advisers argued in a dueling press conference that the Biden team's presence validated the former president's claims that his prosecutions are being driven by politics.

  • De Niro mocked Trump's history of sometimes-unsuccessful business ventures and self-promotion, saying Trump was looking to "destroy" the city. "We New Yorkers used to tolerate him when he was just another crappy real estate hustler masquerading as a big shot," De Niro said. "I love this city. I don't want to destroy it. Donald Trump wants to destroy not only the city but the country, and, eventually, he could destroy the world."
  • In what the Guardian describes as "arguably the most belittling reference," De Niro attacked Trump's "coward's violence." "You think Trump ever threw a punch himself or took one?" he asked. "No way. He doesn't get blood on his hands. He directs the mob to do his dirty work for him by making a suggestion, an inference."
  • On his way back to his car, De Niro argued with pro-Trump protesters who called him a "paid sellout" and said his "movies suck," NBC News reports. He told them he would not be intimidated. "We're trying to be gentlemen in this world, the Democrats," he said. "You are gangsters."

  • Former Washington, DC, police officer Michael Fanone and former Capitol police officer Harry Dunn spoke of their personal experiences on Jan. 6, with Fanone describing his injuries suffered at the hands of the mob of Trump supporters.
  • At Trump campaign staffers' press conference, senior campaign adviser Jason Miller called De Niro "a washed-up actor" and said the Biden news conference proved Trump's arguments that the trial, like the others the former president is facing, was motivated by politics. Karoline Leavitt, the Trump campaign's press secretary, called the Biden campaign "desperate and failing" and "pathetic" and said its event outside the trial was "a full-blown concession that this trial is a witch hunt that comes from the top."
(More Trump hush-money trial stories.)

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