Robert De Niro Says Trump Is Banned From Nobu, An International Restaurant Chain The Actor Co-Owns
If Donald Trump finds himself hungry near one of Robert DeNiro's restaurants, he should just keep on walking. In an interview with the Daily Mail, DeNiro said Trump is banned from all Nobu restaurants, the chain he co-founded over 20 years ago. The actor added that he'd leave any restaurant, Nobu or otherwise, if Trump walked in the door.
DeNiro is an outspoken critic of the president, having previously called him a "madman," the "lowlife-in-chief," a "flat-out blatant racist," a "f*cking idiot" and the "jerkoff-in-chief," among other things. The 74-year-old actor said that the president "lacks any sense of humanity or compassion," and that "to be silent in the face of such villainy is to be complicit."
"America is being run by a madman who wouldn’t recognize the truth if it came inside a bucket of his beloved Colonel Sanders Fried Chicken,” De Niro said at the Tribeca Film Festival in April. “When he doesn’t like what he hears, he dismisses it by saying it’s un-American and damning it as ‘fake news’. But we know the truth. All thinking people do.”
DeNiro cofounded the Nobu restaurant chain in 1994 with Chef Nobu Matsuhisa and Meir Teper, and they later expanded it into a line of hotels 15 years later. Banning Trump from Nobu might seem like something of an empty threat; after all, Nobu establishments are upscale and classy affairs, whereas Trump — according to his enemies, allies and own family — is known to prefer McDonald's and other fast food.
However, Trump is known to have dined at a Nobu restaurant at least once — during a fateful trip to Russia in 2013.
Trump visited Moscow that year to promote his Miss Universe pageant, which was being held in the city. Although he was only there for two days, investigators and journalists have since picked apart the events of that 48 hour period with a fine-tooth comb, as they're full of moments that are potentially relevant to the various investigations into connections between Trump and the Russian government.
It was during that weekend, for instance, that Trump is alleged to have paid Russian prostitutes to urinate on a bed that Barack and Michelle Obama once slept in. Trump denies that allegation, arguing that because he's "very much a germaphobe," he couldn't have possibly partaken in such activity (Sex columnist Dan Savage has explained why this is an inadequate and counterproductive defense).
In his book A Higher Loyalty, fired FBI Director James Comey writes that Trump aggressively disputed the pee tape allegation in their conversations, and — crucially — that Trump denied having spent the night in Moscow during that trip, insisting he was only there for a day. But as reported by Politico, several piece of evidence contradict that claim. One of them is a picture of Trump in front of the Nobu Moscow restaurant the day before the beauty pageant, which suggests that he did indeed spend the night there.
In any event, Trump presumably won't run into this problem again, as he's no longer allowed at Nobu restaurants — at least, according to DeNiro. In the same Daily Mail interview, however, Chef Nobu struck a different tone, and said that he'd love to make some food for the commander-in-chief.
"It's my dream for Trump to sit next to Bob," Nobu told the newspaper. "To make them sushi!"
DeNiro, though, made it clear that this won't be happening any time soon. "I don't care what [Trump] likes," the actor told the newspaper. "If he walked into a restaurant I was in, I'd walk out."
It's unclear, however, if Trump is also banned from the Tribeca Grill, another restaurant that DeNiro co-owns.