×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Robert De Niro Refuses to Take Photo With Arnold Schwarzenegger Over Election Politics

Robert De Niro made crystal clear which candidate he supports this presidential election at the VIP cocktail reception for the annual Friends of the Israel Defense Forces Western Regional Gala held Thursday at the Beverly Hilton. The event was chaired by producing giant and FIDF national board member Haim Saban and his wife, Cheryl.

“If you’re supporting Trump, I want nothing to do with you,” said De Niro, after refusing to pose for a photograph with Arnold Schwarzenegger. (Press did manage to snap a few shots before the kerfuffle.)

“Are you voting for Trump?” De Niro kept asking Schwarzenegger, channeling his inner Jake LaMotta as he rebuffed the former California governor’s efforts to explain before backing off toward the other side of the room.

While Schwarzenegger, a career Republican, publicly tweeted on Oct. 8 that he would NOT be voting for Trump, he still hasn’t made clear for whom he will be voting. In the tweet, the actor-turned-politician wrote: “For the first time since I became a citizen in 1983, I will not vote for the Republican candidate for President.”

“If you’re not part of the solution, then you’re part of the problem,” said De Niro.

Larry King, one of the 1,200 guests who attended the sold-out, star-studded event, agreed.

“(Not voting) is a vote for Trump,” said King. “But if that’s the way they feel, I can’t tell them to vote. You don’t have to vote — but it’s a mistake. You should always pick one of the other.”

King, who said he cast his first presidential vote for Adlai Stevenson II in 1952, ranks this election cycle as the absolute worst he’s ever experienced in his nearly 83 years on the planet.

“This is the worst — and I’ve covered many of them,” said King. “I go back so far, I interviewed Eleanor Roosevelt when her son was mayor of Miami Beach. I was 22. I remember when I told Hillary [Clinton] that I knew Eleanor Roosevelt; she fainted. This is the worst election I’ve ever seen. Donald [Trump] has run a terrible campaign. There’s a lot of racism and sexism. Hillary has been on the defensive back and forth. Neither one is well liked — I’ve never seen anything like this. People are voting against — not for. You know what I think? Joe Biden would have won this election with 70 percent of the electorate. But you never know how the public is going to vote. Until they go into the booth and pull the lever, you never know. I was a big supporter of Harry Truman. I was only 15. He was supposed to lose — and he won.”

The beautiful part of the evening was that people on both sides of the argument came together to support Israel with mutual love and admiration for FIDF, a non-political, non-military organization that proudly supports programs for the well being of soldiers, families of fallen soldiers, and wounded veterans. The gala raised a record-breaking $38 million dollars to help Israeli soldiers and their families in need.

Robert De Niro and Larry King chat with FIDF national board member Haim Saban. (Photo credit: Malina Saval)

“We are gratified to see that the FIDF’s important mission — to provide well-being and educational programs for the heroic men and women of the IDF — continues to resonate with the Los Angeles community,” said Saban, looking out at a ballroom filled with celebrities and high-profile luminaries, including Gerard Butler, Julie Bowen, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and Guess? Inc. co-founders Maurice and Paul Marciano.

“When I was governor, Israel was the first country that I visited on a trade mission,” said Schwarzenegger. “Everybody was up in arms because I didn’t visit Mexico or Canada, the neighboring countries, first. Israel, to me, has always been a country I love. I enjoyed visiting it for the first time in 1978 and I’ve been there many times since. It’s just a great ally of America and I always try to be very supportive.”

King, who’s interviewed every Israeli prime minister with the exception of David Ben-Gurion, said, “Haim Saban is one of the best men I know, and this is a very worthy cause.” King continued, “I’ve always been a supporter of Israel. These people have their backs to the wall. I don’t always support everything Israel does, but I sure support their defense forces. Nothing is black and white. They’re living a defensive life.”

Like so many others, King is hopeful that one day there will be peace in Israel and the Middle East.

“Yitzhak Rabin was my favorite—there was no one like him,” said King, referring to the optimistic period of the Oslo Peace Accords. “Bill Clinton told me that he thought we had a deal. I hope eventually we have a two-party, two-state system. We can’t go on like this.”

More Scene

  • Meredith Walker, Rashida Jones, Amy Poehler,

    Inside Amy Poehler's Smart Girls 10th Anniversary Dinner (EXCLUSIVE)

    “I’ve made an observation I’d like to share. I’m the only one that’s eaten my crab cake,” joked Amy Poehler as she addressed the room during the round robin introductions being made at her Smart Girls 10th anniversary dinner on Monday night. The 16 women at the table, who were so enthralled in the conversation [...]

  • Alfonso Cuaron, Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de

    Alfonso Cuaron Says 'Roma' Is Better in Theaters

    Director Alfonso Cuaron opted to work with Netflix for his latest film “Roma,” but the decorated filmmaker isn’t discounting the importance of a big-screen viewing. “The complete experience of ‘Roma’ is unquestionably in a movie theater,” Cuaron said Monday night at the Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles for the premiere of “Roma.”  The streaming giant did [...]

  • Dylan O'Brien, Justin Theroux, Angela Bassett,

    Travis Knight on Getting the Call to Direct ‘Bumblebee’: ‘Did You Guys Get The Right Number?’

    “Bumblebee” director Travis Knight admits he couldn’t believe it when Paramount Studios and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura called him two years ago, asking him to helm the upcoming “Transformers” movie. “My initial question was, ‘Did you guys get the right number?'” Knight joked at Sunday’s premiere of “Bumblebee” at the Chinese Theater in Los Angeles. “You’ve seen [...]

  • Director Peter JacksonWarner Bros. Pictures THEY

    Peter Jackson Talks Transition From 'Hobbit' Movies to World War I Documentary

    Peter Jackson remains a bit astounded at his transition four years ago from the Shire of Middle Earth to the French battlefields of World War I. Jackson introduced his documentary “They Shall Not Grow Old” Friday night at the Linwood Dunn Theatre in Hollywood, four weeks after it aired on Armistice Day on the BBC. [...]

  • Hillary Clinton'Network' play opening night, New

    Hillary Clinton Attends Opening of Broadway's 'Network'

    A 1976 film might not be expected to translate seamlessly to Broadway in 2018, but for the cast and creative team behind “Network,” which premiered Thursday night with Hillary Clinton in the audience, the story still feels uncomfortably close to home. “It was a satire then, and now it’s documentary realism,” said Lee Hall, who [...]

  • Children's Defense Fund

    Angela Bassett, Conan O'Brien Honor Young Students at Children's Defense Fund Gala

    Awards season may be right around the corner, but on Thursday, Hollywood took a break from the glitz and glam to celebrate five high school students who have excelled academically despite facing extreme adversity both at home and in the classroom. The 29th annual Beat the Odds Awards ceremony at the Skirball Cultural Center featured [...]

  • Dolly Parton attends the world premiere

    Dolly Parton Hopes to Perform 'Dumplin'' Song at the Golden Globes

    It’s not easy to upstage Jennifer Aniston. But everyone at Thursday night’s premiere of her new Netflix flick, “Dumplin’,” seemed to be singing the praises of Dolly Parton, who earlier in the day received a Golden Globe nomination for “Girl in the Movies,” one of half a dozen new songs she wrote for the film. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content