Robert De Niro likens "totally nuts" Trump to "Taxi Driver" character

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina -- Robert De Niro says Donald Trump is like the main character of the legendary 1976 movie "Taxi Driver," the mentally disturbed Travis Bickle.

"What he has been saying is totally crazy, ridiculous, stuff that shouldn't be even ... he is totally nuts," De Niro said during a question and answer session at the Sarajevo Film Festival.

When the moderator asked De Niro to elaborate on Bickle's mental illness, the first thing that seemed to have crossed the actor's mind was the Republican candidate.

"One of the things to me was just the irony at the end, he (Bickle) is back driving a cab, celebrated, which is kind of relevant in some way today too," De Niro said.

"People like Donald Trump who shouldn't be where he is so ... God help us," De Niro said.

Sarajevans responded with a frantic applause.

De Niro says the media had given too much attention, but are now starting to say "come on Donald, this is ridiculous, this is nuts, this is insane."

Trump's campaign has suffered from several setbacks in the past week, including a spate of criticism after the GOP nominee made false claims about President Obama's relationship with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

"ISIS is honoring President Obama. He is the founder of ISIS. He is the founder of ISIS, OK?" Trump said Wednesday at a rally in Florida. "He's the founder! He founded ISIS! And I would say the co-founder would be Crooked Hillary Clinton."

Trump later seemed to walk back the statements, calling them "sarcasm" in an early Friday tweet. Hours later, the billionaire said at another rally in Pennsylvania that while he was "obviously" being sarcastic, he was "not that sarcastic."

De Niro opened the 22nd Sarajevo Film Festival on Friday, presented Martin Scorsese's restored "Taxi Driver" and received the festival's first lifetime achievement award.