MSNBC host challenges Biden aide on bizarre De Niro press conference: ‘Doesn’t feel right to me at all’

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MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski challenged the Biden campaign on its decision to hold a chaotic press conference outside Donald Trump’s criminal trial in Manhattan with actor Robert De Niro, as the defense and prosecution gave their closing arguments.

“I guess I have to ask you why you decided to speak there and to have the campaign show up at the courthouse. I don’t know. It doesn’t feel right to me at all,” Brzezinski told Biden campaign communications director Michael Tyler.

Tyler said the campaign, De Niro and two former police officers, who were at the Capitol on Jan. 6, decided to speak outside the courtroom on Tuesday because the media had been “incessantly posted up there for weeks.” He said Trump needed to answer for the “continued threat” he poses to democracy, as well as his “embrace of political violence.”

“So that’s what Robert De Niro and officers [Michael] Fanone and [Harry] Dunn were speaking to down in Manhattan yesterday. They were speaking to the fact that Donald Trump still regularly embraces political violence, is calling for a bloodbath if he loses this election, and is pledging to rule as a dictator on day one,” Tyler continued. 

Michael Tyler on "Morning Joe"

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Brzezinski pushed back and questioned the location of the press conference. 

“Last week when the members of Congress showed up to support Donald Trump, I called it unbecoming of the office, of their serving the people of their district. American citizens are not supposed to politicize a court proceeding, and I feel the same way about the campaign. Is there any concern about the campaign getting a little bit too close to these court proceedings and could that backfire? Any concerns looking back was it a good decision?” Brzezinski asked. 

Tyler said during the media appearance that he had no concern about the location of their press conference, and argued the focus was on highlighting the threat to democracy Trump poses. 

De Niro got into angry clashes with Trump supporters at the presser, which raised eyebrows online.

Asked if the campaign intends to do more surprise press conferences, Tyler said they had to be creative about reaching the electorate.

De Niro in Manhattan

Actor Robert De Niro, center, points to a supporter of former US President Donald Trump, not pictured, as he departs following a news conference outside Manhattan criminal court in New York, US, on Tuesday, May 28, 2024. (Photographer: Yuki Iwamura/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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“One thing that this campaign understands is that we operate in an increasingly fragmented and fractured media environment, and so when you have one thing like this trial that’s taking up a lot of oxygen, you have to be creative, you have to use every tool at your disposal to break through that clutter and communicate your message to the electorate. That’s what yesterday was about and this campaign will continue to be creative in the way we reach the voters where they are right now,” he said.

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De Niro said during the press conference that he joined the Biden campaign to “preserve our freedoms,” and “hold on to our humanity.”

“Donald Trump wants to destroy not only the city, but the country. And eventually he could destroy the world,” the liberal actor said.

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“I owe this city a lot. And that’s why it’s so weird that Donald Trump is just across the street because he doesn’t belong in my city. I don’t know where he belongs, but he certainly doesn’t belong here. We New Yorkers used to tolerate him when he was just another grubby real estate hustler masquerading as a big shot,” De Niro added. 



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