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Robert De Niro Roasts Trump in New Biden Ad: ‘Threatening to Be a Dictator’

By Jake Beardslee · May 25, 2024

Actor Robert De Niro has lent his voice to a new ad for Joe Biden's 2024 presidential campaign that paints a critical picture of former President Donald Trump's time in office and actions. The 30-second spot paints a scathing picture of Trump's tenure as president and his current campaign.  Jack Gruber / USA TODAY

In the ad, De Niro's voice can be heard narrating over dramatic images from Trump's time in office, stating in his trademark gravelly tone: "From midnight tweets to drinking bleach, to tear-gassing citizens and staging a photo op, we knew Trump was out of control when he was president."  Robert Hanashiro / USA TODAY

The "drinking bleach" line references the controversy when Trump pondered if disinfectants could potentially be used to treat COVID-19 during an April 2020 briefing. "I see the disinfectant that knocks it out in a minute, one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning?" Trump said at the time, though he did not explicitly tell people to ingest bleach as the ad suggests.  U.S. Army photographer / Wikimedia

As for the "staging a photo op" claim, it refers to the instances when federal law enforcement used tear gas and forcibly cleared racial injustice protesters from Lafayette Square in June 2020, allowing Trump to walk to a nearby church for a photo opportunity.  The White House from Washington, DC / Wikimedia

While an investigation by the Interior Department concluded the area was cleared to install fencing, not specifically for Trump's visit, it did determine that Attorney General William Barr pushed to hasten the process of removing protesters from the area once the president decided he wanted to walk through that evening.  The White House from Washington, DC / Wikimedia

De Niro, a longtime critic of the former president, continues in the ominous ad: "Now he's running again, this time threatening to be a dictator, to terminate the Constitution."  Robert Hanashiro / USA TODAY

This line is followed by a clip of Trump telling supporters at a rally: "If I don't get elected, it's going to be a bloodbath."  Barbara J. Perenic/The Columbus Dispatch via USA TODAY Network / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Trump campaign previously pushed back on characterizing that "bloodbath" quote as a threat, with a spokesperson stating the former president was referring to economic impacts on the auto industry from Biden's policies.  Barbara Perenic/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Trump camp has also not issued an official response as of this reporting. With the 2024 election heating up, the harsh ad from De Niro signals Biden's team will continue painting Trump in a negative light. How voters interpret such messaging remains to be seen.  Element5 Digital / Unsplash