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De Niro defends Mueller: ‘A calm, confident, dignified public servant’


Robert De Niro is defending Robert Mueller following the former special counsel’s testimony before Congress.

“Mueller chose to play himself as a calm, confident, dignified public servant,” De Niro — who earned an Emmy nomination earlier this month for his guest performance as Mueller on “Saturday Night Live” — writes in an op-ed in The Washington Post published Monday.

{mosads}”That’s a valid acting choice,” the 75-year-old actor writes of Mueller’s testimony Wednesday before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees on his report into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

But if he were stepping in for Mueller, De Niro writes, “I would have dropped the unruffled exterior and been more, let’s say, expansive in my response. I may have dropped an f-bomb or two or eight.

“The emphasis would have shifted more to me — which is what audiences expect from their movie stars — while Mueller preferred to stay in the background, putting country and integrity first, and letting action and facts speak for him.”

De Niro says Mueller’s values aren’t “cool enough for today’s distracted audience.”

“Even more important,” the Academy Award winner writes, “the Academy doesn’t give Oscars for ‘calm, confident and dignified.’ “

De Niro is one of President Trump’s most outspoken critics in the entertainment industry, calling the commander in chief a “total loser” and a “pig.” Trump has fired back before, dubbing De Niro a “very Low IQ individual” in a tweet last year.

Responding to critics of Mueller’s testimony, De Niro writes as he watched it, he “couldn’t help but think that a public servant should not have to ‘perform’ to command our attention.”

“It seems that everyone — the Democrats, Trump and the Republicans, the country — got what they wanted from the hearings, and yet no one was satisfied,” writes De Niro.

Both Democrats and Republicans claimed satisfaction after the Wednesday hearing, in which the former FBI director largely stayed within the parameters of his 400-plus-page report.

De Niro’s opinion piece comes just months after he urged Mueller to speak out in an open letter in The New York Times.

“The country needs to hear your voice,” De Niro wrote to Mueller in May after the special counsel made his first public statement about the Russia probe. “Your actual voice.”

The performer on Monday also urged Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against Trump: “We deserve better. House of Representatives, take action. Mueller handed you the evidence; the Constitution gives you the authority; the people gave you the power. History demands you use it.”

De Niro says while he’ll likely have fewer chances to play Mueller on NBC’s long-running late-night sketch comedy show, he’s “ready to move on” to another role.

“I think I could do a really good Jerry Nadler, my own great congressman and the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee,” De Niro quips of the New York Democrat. 

“The last time I gained and lost weight to play a scrappy New York street fighter (for ‘Raging Bull’), I won an Oscar,” writes De Niro.

Tags Donald Trump Jerry Nadler Mueller testimony Robert De Niro Robert Mueller

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