The Raging Bull movie icon hit headlines in October (16), when he appeared in a campaign video encouraging his fellow U.S. citizens to vote against the controversial Republican, who he branded "an idiot, a national disaster, (and) an embarrassment to this country".

An angry De Niro, whose rant was cut from the final clip, added, "He (Trump) talks about how he'd like to punch people in the face? Well, I'd like to punch him in the face."

Trump managed to pull off a stunning upset in November (16) when he beat Democrat Hillary Clinton at the polls, and the billionaire businessman was inaugurated as the 45th President of the U.S. last month (Jan17).

After the election, De Niro, like many other celebrity Democrats, was forced to accept defeat, but he still stands by his punching comments, because the actor believes "bullies" like Trump have to be treated the same way they treat others.

"I said that because he said that about somebody, that he'd like to punch them in the face, and how dare he say that to a crowd? How dare he say the things he does?" De Niro explained on U.S. talk show The View. "Of course I wanna punch him in the face!

"It was only a symbolic thing anyway, It wasn't like I was gonna go find him and punch him in the face, but he's gotta hear it. That's how he makes people feel, and it's not good to feel that way, to start that stuff up, but at the same time, sometimes when people are bullies like that, that's what you have to do: shut 'em up and bully them back."

And despite initially hoping Trump would be a leader for all Americans, he insists the real estate mogul and reality TV star's first two weeks in office have done little to assure his critics.

"(Trump's predecessor, President Barack) Obama was, to me, a great president," De Niro continued. "He tried to do what was right... When you have people going in there just to win, it's not about winning, it's about what's right for the country, the people. We hear a lot of lip service about that, even from Trump, but now's the time to see what he's gonna do, and so far it doesn't look good."

Trump's first few acts as President have sparked anger across the nation, particularly after he signed an executive order last week (27Jan17) banning refugees and travellers from seven predominantly-Muslim countries from entering the U.S.