US now a 'tragic dumb-ass comedy' - Robert De Niro

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Robert De Niro has said that if the US was a movie it would now be a "tragic, dumb-ass comedy".

The two-time Oscar-winning actor and vocal Donald Trump critic said his nation had descended to this point having been an "inspiring, uplifting drama" just four years ago.

De Niro, 73, was welcomed with applause and laughter as he made the remarks in a speech to graduating students at Brown University in the New England state of Rhode Island.

"The country has gone crazy. In movie terms, when you started school the country was an inspiring, uplifting drama," he said on Sunday.

"You are graduating intro a tragic, dumb-ass comedy."

He also urged the students to make a better world and to "work to stop the insanity" as he was handed an honorary fine arts degree.

De Niro has been a persistent critic of the US president and even said he wanted to punch the Republican in the face during his election campaign.

The actor also said earlier this month that Mr Trump was hampering the arts and that his immigration policy might keep out the next Charlie Chaplin.

The British star was "an immigrant who probably wouldn't pass today's 'extreme vetting'," he said.