Robert De Niro is striking a more diplomatic tone regarding President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump hails Arizona Senate for audit at Phoenix rally, slams governor Arkansas governor says it's 'disappointing' vaccinations have become 'political' Watch live: Trump attends rally in Phoenix MORE, whom he previously said he'd like to "punch ... in the face."

“I would only say that we’re all hoping, waiting and hoping, that he will lead the country in a way that’ll benefit everyone and benefit our neighbors around the world,” De Niro told ITK on Tuesday when asked what message he’d want to share with Trump.


“That’s all,” the "Godfather Part II" star said.

“We’re waiting and hoping, and we’ll see.”

ITK caught up with the 73-year-old Academy Award winner, one of several icons to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House on Tuesday. The award is the country’s highest civilian honor.

De Niro has previously called Trump "blatantly stupid," a "pig" and a "bullshit artist." He said Tuesday his "punch" comment — made in a video released last month — was “more symbolic.”

“After he said the things that he said, anybody would want to punch him in the face,” De Niro told reporters. “Many people told me ‘You said what I’d want to say.’ It’s just unacceptable to say those things in the situations that he said them in.”

De Niro added, “Now he’s president-elect and I just want to see what he’s going to do."