Memorable Trump feuds with celebrities from 2019
President Trump is a “counterpuncher,” as his press secretary put it recently. The former reality TV star does not limit his jabs to lawmakers; he has fiercely fired back at a number of performers in the public eye throughout his presidency.
In 2019, a number of celebrities who are typically best known for their movies or songs criticized Trump. And the president punched back — sometimes forcefully.
Trump vs. Robert De Niro
In June, “The Irishman” star Robert De Niro declared “f— Trump” live onstage at the Tony Awards. It was only the latest criticism De Niro — who has vocally opposed Trump since 2016 — had leveled at Trump, but likely his most direct and public declaration.
Trump called the iconic star “a very Low IQ individual” in response.
“I watched him last night and truly believe he may be ‘punch-drunk,’ ” Trump tweeted. “Wake up, Punchy!”
That didn’t quiet De Niro, who recently called Trump “a nasty little bitch” and “a petulant little punk” in The New York Times.
Trump vs. Arnold Schwarzenegger
Trump and “Terminator” star Arnold Schwarzenegger have traded barbs over the past year, including in July when Trump joked at a White House event that the former governor was “dead” after he replaced Trump in 2017 as guest host of “The Celebrity Apprentice.”
In response, Schwarzenegger noted he is still alive and invited Trump — who is the first major-party presidential candidate in decades to refuse to release his taxes — to “compare tax returns.”
“I think he really — he’s in love with me,” Schwarzenegger told Men’s Health in September. “That’s the reality of it. With Trump, he wants to be me.”
Trump vs. Bill Maher
Although Trump is frequently combative with media personalities, a few clashes stood out this year.
While the progressive HBO host Bill Maher has criticized Trump a number of times, in August, Trump took umbrage at Maher’s comments about his visit to El Paso, Texas, following a mass shooting.
Maher said on his show “Real Time” that “none of the eight patients in the El Paso hospital would agree to meet with Trump, isn’t that something?”
“So many lies,” Trump tweeted in response, noting that he only watched Maher’s show “by accident.”
“Wrong! Had really great meetings with numerous patients,” he wrote. “And sooo many other false statements.”
Maher ignored most of Trump’s comments in his response, instead asking: “I’m curious, how do you see a TV show ‘by accident’?”
Trump vs. Debra Messing
In September, “Will and Grace” stars Debra Messing and Eric McCormack called for the release of attendees at a planned Hollywood fundraiser for President Trump.
“So the rest of us can be clear about who we don’t wanna work with,” McCormack tweeted.
Trump returned fire, saying “times have changed” since Messing once allegedly thanked him — “even calling me ‘sir,’ ” according to Trump — after he joined NBC’s “The Apprentice” while “Will and Grace” was also part of that channel’s lineup.
It was a relatively mild rejoinder from Trump in a year of fiery feuds.
Trump vs. Chrissy Teigen and John Legend
Also in September, Trump slammed “musician @johnlegend, and his filthy mouthed wife” in a tweet, saying they were trying to take credit for criminal justice legislation he signed despite being vocal critics.
Chrissy Teigen, model, TV host and wife of John Legend, responded that it was “an honor” not to be tagged in the tweet, including an example of language Trump might have called “filthy.”
Trump vs. Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift’s political comments escalated in 2019, with her accusing Trump of “gaslighting the American public” in an August interview.
Trump hasn’t specifically responded to Swift since his 2018 comment that he likes “Taylor’s music about 25 percent less now, OK?”
But the White House responded to her VMAs appearance calling out the Trump administration for not responding to a Change.org petition.
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway called the singer “somebody who went up against President Trump head-to-head in the United States Senate race in Tennessee and lost handily,” referring to the race that also garnered Trump’s response last year. Swift endorsed Democratic Tennessee Senate candidate Phil Bredesen over Sen. Marsha Blackburn, the Republican who won.
Trump vs. Chris Wallace
Trump, a frequent guest on Fox News, lashed out at “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace in November, calling him “nasty & obnoxious.”
“This kind of dumb and unfair interview would never have happened in the @FoxNews past,” Trump tweeted, referring to an interview with Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.).
Wallace in December noted that after the tweet “one of my sons said, ‘Nasty? No. Obnoxious? Well.'”
He also made critical comments about Trump’s “direct, sustained assault on the freedom of the press.”
“He has done everything he can to undercut the media, to try and delegitimize us,” Wallace said at a Newseum event in Washington, D.C.
The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.