The season premiere of The Alec Baldwin Show, a new late-night talk series, aired on ABC Sunday night. Previously dubbed Sundays with Alec Baldwin, the show aired its debut episode way back on March 4 following the Academy Awards and featured a groan-worthy moment when the host appeared to express sympathy for accused sexual predator Kevin Spacey (no major surprise, given Baldwin’s history of criticizing the #MeToo movement).
Its latest iteration—a 60 Minutes-style spin on his WNYC podcast Here’s the Thing—saw Baldwin sit down with acting legend Robert De Niro for a career-spanning interview that explored plenty of stuff you’ve heard a million times before, such as how he lost weight for Raging Bull or if he enjoyed directing, and his acting technique.
Things finally got interesting around 25 minutes into the program, when Baldwin addressed De Niro’s outspoken criticism of President Trump—including a viral 2016 PSA for the #VoteYourFuture campaign that featured De Niro calling Trump an “idiot” and a “con,” and confessing that he’d “like to punch him in the face.”
“I’m so offended by this person—and by the Republicans in general, and how they’ve behaved, and we see it with the Kavanaugh thing going on right now,” De Niro told Baldwin. “And when I see [Trump], I know what he is, and he knows what he is, because everything he says about other people—you’re a loser, you’re a this, you’re a that—is everything he’s saying about himself. He’s so transparent; he’s projecting.”
“I’ve just never seen anything like it,” De Niro added, shaking his head. “And I’ve seen a lot in this world, and the years that I’ve been around, but this is totally surreal, and I felt that I had to say something—whatever I can say, whatever influence I can have, I don’t know. But it’s infuriating, with this guy.”
After some light prodding from Baldwin, the Taxi Driver star directed his ire at the Republican Party, which recently pushed through Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh despite several sexual-assault allegations against him.
“I saw Jeff Flake at the Global Citizens thing the other day at Central Park, and I said, ‘You’re an American hero. What you’ve done is heroic,’” said De Niro, though Sen. Flake (R-AZ) ultimately voted to confirm Kavanaugh after some heavy posturing. “That’s a guy with feelings. He’s actually conflicted. You can see it with the ladies [who confronted him] in the elevator. And I don’t understand why some of these Republicans aren’t like, ‘I’m out of here.’”
“Many of these people who are now with Trump are going to be tainted for the rest of their lives,” he continued. “They think they want to be with him and it’s going to give them something, but they are paying such a price [in] making a deal with the devil. It’s scary.”