Mr. De Niro then flexed both of his arms before quipping, "Now I'll get to my introduction".
Understandably, CBS, the network which broadcast the awards, bleeped the swearing leading some viewers to take to social media to question what he'd said and why it got a standing ovation.
De Niro went on to encourage the audience to vote in November before introducing Springsteen, whose one-man Broadway show is running until December. "I know what you're all thinking, sure", Groban said.
The brief, nearly token, insult provoked a disproportionately strong reaction from the audience at New York's Radio City Music Hall.
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The "Raging Bull" star also used the opportunity to urge Americans to vote, and he praised Springsteen for his own political commitment.
It was hardly the first time that De Niro, who was born in NY and lives in the city, attacked fellow New Yorker Trump.
"Boy, do we need that now". "Its disgusting. It's great to be here in Toronto", De Niro said to applause at the groundbreaking of Nobu Restaurant, Hotel and Residences on Mercer St. He applauded De Niro. "It's a disgrace and I apologize to Justin Trudeau and the other people at the G-7".
In a subsequent tweet, Stewart added that she was "sorry to see the hate-filled, bitter man that Robert De Niro has turned into".
Playwright Tony Kushner also shared De Niro's dismay of Trump saying it was a "the Hitler mistake" that put a "borderline psychotic narcissist in the White House".