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Robert De Niro has award withdrawn after calling Donald Trump ‘monster’

Robert De Niro has been denied a prestigious award after making a speech calling Donald Trump a “clown” and a “dictator “outside the former president’s trial.

The actor, 80, joined a Democrat-organised event on Tuesday outside the New York court where Trump was on trial for falsifying business records to cover up an affair before the 2016 presidential election.

Standing by Manhattan Criminal Court, De Niro tore into the Republican – calling him a “monster” – and argued with Trump supporters who he called “gangsters”.

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) decided to rescind an offer to award De Niro with the Leadership Foundation’s Service to America Award, which he was set to receive on Tuesday.

A spokesperson said the event at which the actor would have received the prize “is proudly bipartisan, uniting those from across the political spectrum to celebrate the impactful work of local broadcasters and our partners”.

They added: “While we strongly support the right of every American to exercise free speech and participate in civic engagement, it is clear that Mr De Niro’s recent high-profile activities will create a distraction from the philanthropic work that we were hoping to recognize.

“To maintain the focus on service of the award winners, Mr. De Niro will no longer be attending the event.”

De Niro said he supports the NAB in a response to US outlet The Hill, adding: “I wish them well for their continued good work.”

Joined on Tuesday by two former law enforcement officers who were at the US Capitol during the 6 January riots three years ago, De Niro said of Trump: “He doesn’t belong in my city.”

He also warned that should Trump be re-elected in November, “I can tell you right now, he will never leave”.

Trump called De Niro “pathetic” on social media after his outburst.

On Friday, Trump was later found unanimously guilty on 34 counts of falsifying business records to cover up “hush money” payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

He is the first former US president to be criminally convicted. He maintains he is innocent and says he will appeal the verdict.

Responding to the verdict, De Niro said “justice was served” to Variety while on the red carpet for his new movie, Ezra.

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