President hits back at 'punch-drunk' De Niro after 'F-bomb'
Donald Trump has hit back at Robert De Niro, calling him a "very low IQ individual", after the Oscar-winning actor's expletive-laden attack on the US president on live TV.
Following De Niro's outburst on the stage of the Tony Awards ceremony in New York, Trump said he had watched the clip "and [I] truly believe he may be punch drunk".
De Niro, one of the most respected American actors, twice used the so-called F-bomb against Trump on Sunday, prompting loud applause from the audience of theatre actors, directors and producers at Radio City Music Hall.
The 'Raging Bull' actor's remarks were bleeped for more than six million Americans watching the awards show on CBS at home.
De Niro took the stage to introduce rocker and Tony Awards performer Bruce Springsteen. Without any preamble, he said, "I'm gonna say one thing. F*** Trump."
With the audience of theatre actors, directors and producers shrieking and rising to their feet in applause, De Niro said: "It's no longer down with Trump. It's f*** Trump."
He did not elaborate on his comment.
As he introduced Springsteen, he said: "Bruce, you can rock the house like nobody else and even more importantly in these perilous times, you rock the vote, always fighting for, in your own words, truth, transparency and integrity in government. Boy, do we need that now."
Trump was on his way to Singapore to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as the awards show was taking place.
"Robert De Niro, a very Low IQ individual, has received to many shots to the head by real boxers in movies. I watched him last night and truly believe he may be punch-drunk," Trump tweeted.
"I guess he doesn't realise the economy is the best it's ever been with employment being at an all time high, and many companies pouring back into our country. Wake up Punchy!"
De Niro won an Oscar for playing American boxer Jake LaMotta in the 1980 film 'Raging Bull'. He returned to the ring in 'Grudge Match" in 2013 and played a boxing trainer in 2016 movie 'Hands of Stone'.
The actor has made an apology - to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after Trump's attack on his G7 allies. "It's a disgrace. It's disgusting," he said.
De Niro has been increasingly critical of Trump at smaller events in the last year but none with the profile of the Tonys.