Cokie Roberts died yesterday, and Trump was quick to make a statement. And–surprise, surprise–he took the opportunity to bash the veteran reporter before wishing her family well.
Trump reacted to the news of Cokie Roberts’ death while aboard Air Force One. He told the journalists traveling with him “she never treated me nicely” in a rambling, contradictory statement.
“I never met her. She never treated me nicely. But I would like to wish her family well. She was a professional, and I respect professionals,” Trump said. “I respect you guys a lot, you people a lot. She was a real professional. Never treated me well, but I certainly respect her as a professional.”
Cokie Roberts was a trailblazer for women in media, working in television and radio for over 4 decades. Roberts could be found everywhere from NPR to PBS, and ABC. As ABC’s chief congressional analyst, she provided keen insight into the political landscape. She also wrote multiple best-selling books and won 3 Emmy Awards during her long and celebrated career.
Roberts passed away on Tuesday after a battle with breast cancer, leaving her friends, family, and colleagues devastated.
ABC News president James Goldston broke the news with a heartfelt letter full of praise, writing “Cokie’s kindness, generosity, sharp intellect and thoughtful take on the big issues of the day made ABC a better place and all of us better journalists. Please take a moment today to remember an exceptional reporter and remarkable friend.”
But the important thing to Trump is that she wasn’t nice to him.
Trump’s remarks are vastly different from the reaction by former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.
Obama released a respectful statement on Tuesday afternoon, lauding Roberts as “a role model to young women at a time when the profession was still dominated by men; a constant over forty years of a shifting media landscape and changing world, informing voters about the issues of our time and mentoring young journalists every step of the way.”
Even Bush found something positive to say despite his often-strained relationship with the press. “We respected her drive and appreciated her humor,” Bush’s statement read. “She became a friend.” The former President also praised Roberts as a “talented, tough, fair reporter.”
Trump was barely able to offer token respect to a legendary journalist like Cokie Roberts. Instead, he chose to bash her memory and ignore her contributions as a trailblazing reporter.