Actor Sean Penn on Wednesday night blamed former President George W. Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney for creating the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
“These are the guys, he and President Bush and some others, who invented Daesh, or ISIS,” Penn said, using the Arabic name for the terror group, on TBS's "Conan."
Penn also called Cheney an “embittered bacteria of humanity” and wondered how the vice president, who has struggled with heart disease, is still alive.
“It’s always a surprise to me to remember that, through bionic technology and so on, this guy’s still here,” Penn said.
“We have people like Harvey Milk, who were beautiful, brilliant, impactful guys, and, you know — it’s just no good deed goes unpunished, and then you’ve got the Cheneys. This is just me musing.”
Penn won a 2009 Best Actor Oscar for portraying Milk, the first openly gay person elected to public office in California, in the film "Milk."
The actor was on “Conan” promoting his new film “The Gunman,” which opens on Friday.
He began his personal attack on Cheney after hearing the ex-politician mentioned in an earlier segment on the show.
The actor also commented on the U.S. renewing diplomatic relations with Cuba. Penn has met both Fidel Castro and his brother Raúl Castro, the country's former and current leaders, respectively.
“There’s certainly going to be real change in Cuba,” Penn said. “Separate and apart from the Castros, I think, as you saw, the Cuban people have incredible spirit and incredible intelligence and are very bright. Among the positive things the revolution brought are literacy. I think it’s going to be a very exciting change in what they can bring to us culturally.”
Penn called the American embargo on Cuba “archaic” and a “blockade.”
“You’ll have this magic population that’s now a part of the world,” he continued. “I’m very excited about it.”
“Conan” host Conan O’Brien filmed a special episode of his talk show in Havana in February following the diplomatic thaw. That episode aired on March 4.