Sean Penn Trashes Donald Trump's COVID-19 Response At Cannes Film Festival

"It felt like someone with a machine gun gunning down communities that were most vulnerable," the "Flag Day" actor and director said.

CANNES, France — Sean Penn got the chance to bash Donald Trump at the Cannes Film Festival on Sunday ― and he ran with it.

At a news conference for his new movie “Flag Day,” the two-time Oscar winner savaged the former president for his response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Penn, who has led an effort to test and vaccinate underserved communities, said Trump and his White House “let down” the country and the world with misinformation and “half-truths.” It was in “all terms an obscene administration humanly and politically,” he said.

“When my team and I would come home from test and vaccination sites at night, particularly during testing under Trump, to maddening news — it felt like someone with a machine gun gunning down communities that were most vulnerable from a turret at the White House,” he added.

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Sean Penn said it felt like the Trump administration was gunning down the disadvantaged during the pandemic.
Lionel Hahn via Getty Images

President Joe Biden and his administration have provided welcome relief, he noted pointedly.

“In the transition to the task force that President Biden put together, it was really that feeling like a sun was rising,” he said. “There was no effort of integrity coming from the federal government until the Trump administration was dismissed.”

Penn previously accused Trump of “negligent homicide on a grand scale.”

“Flag Day,” which Penn directed and stars in with his daughter Dylan, premiered Saturday at Cannes, which hasn’t been held since May 2019 due to the pandemic. Masks are mandatory at the Palais des Festivals, and the party scene at the prestigious cinema gathering has been quieter than usual.

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Penn, pictured with daughter Dylan Penn, discusses his new movie "Flag Day" and the Trump administration at the Cannes Film Festival on Sunday.
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Based on a memoir by Jennifer Vogel, “Flag Day” focuses on the tumultuous relationship between a con man (Penn) and his daughter (Dylan Penn), who becomes a journalist.

Penn said he gave the script to Matt Damon a month and a half before shooting to gauge Damon’s interest in playing the lead but Damon told him that he would be a “stupid schmuck” to pass up the opportunity to act with his daughter.

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Sean Penn, pictured with daughter Dylan Penn at the Cannes Film Festival, took a moment to criticize the Trump administration at a news conference.
Stephane Cardinale - Corbis via Getty Images

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