The Washington Examiner reports that President Donald Trump’s younger brother, Robert Trump, passed away in a New York City hospital on Saturday night at the age of 71.
“It is with [a] heavy heart I share that my wonderful brother, Robert, peacefully passed away tonight,” the president said in a statement, according to the Examiner.
He went on: “He was not just my brother, he was my best friend… He will be greatly missed, but we will meet again. His memory will live on in my heart forever. Robert, I love you. Rest in peace.”
President’s brother dies
Though the White House did not provide details about the cause of Robert Trump’s death, a source reportedly told The New York Times that he had been suffering from brain bleeds in the aftermath of a fall and had been in the hospital for several days before succumbing to his condition, according to Politico.
Robert Trump was, according to one of his brother’s biographers, “the quietest of Trumps,” as NPR noted. He was a graduate of Boston University and spent time working on Wall Street before ultimately accepting a role with the Trump Organization handling real estate matters.
In his 1987 book Trump: The Art of the Deal, Donald Trump described his brother Robert as “soft-spoken and easygoing, but he’s very talented and effective,” according to NPR.
Reactions pour in
Vice President Mike Pence addressed Robert Trump’s death, tweeting that he is praying that the president’s family “will be comforted during this difficult time. God bless the memory of Robert Trump.”
The president’s daughter and senior advisor Ivanka Trump also spoke out about her uncle’s passing on Twitter, saying, “Uncle Robert, we love you. You are in our hearts and prayers, always.”
While her tweet drew condolences from supporters, detractors reacted to it with a sadly predictable display of disdain and mockery. One platform user accused her of praying to Satan, while another said that she has a “non-existent heart.” Other anti-Trump Twitter users expressed dissatisfaction over the fact that Robert Trump was the member of the famous to die and not the president.
In contrast, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden struck a much more conciliatory tone when responding to the news, tweeting, “Mr. President, Jill and I are sad to learn of your younger brother Robert’s passing.” The former VP added: “I know the tremendous pain of losing a loved one — and I know how important family is in moments like these. I hope you know that our prayers are with you all.”
Biden’s running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, had a similar message. “Doug and I join the Biden family in sending our deepest condolences and prayers to the entire Trump family during this difficult time,” she tweeted. “Losing a loved one is never easy, but know that we are thinking of you.”
During this time of deep political division, it is at least somewhat heartening to see the president’s opponents taking the high road and expressing sympathy at what is surely a difficult time for his entire family.