President Donald Trump's younger brother, Robert Trump, has died, according to the White House.
"It is with heavy heart I share that my wonderful brother, Robert, peacefully passed away tonight," President Trump said in a statement on Saturday. "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."
There were conflicting reports about whether he was 71 or 72.
"He’s having a tough time,” President Trump said on Friday of his brother's condition.
The president paid a visit to his brother that same day, saying afterward that he hoped Robert Trump "was OK."
“I have a wonderful brother. We’ve had a great relationship for a long time, from day one," the president told reporters before departing for New York. “He’s in the hospital right now, and hopefully he’ll be all right."
Robert Trump had previously worked for his older brother as a top executive at the Trump Organization. Once a regular bold face name in Manhattan's social pages, he has kept a lower profile in recent years. He married his longtime girlfriend, Ann Marie Pallan, in March, according to the New York Post. He divorced his first wife, Blaine Trump, more than a decade ago.
“When he worked in the Trump Organization, he was known as the nice Trump," Gwenda Blair, a Trump family biographer, told The Associated Press. “Robert was the one people would try to get to intervene if there was a problem.
One of four siblings to the president, Robert Trump described himself as a big supporter of his brother's run for the White House.
“I support Donald one thousand percent,” he said in a 2016 interview with the New York Post.
Both longtime businessmen, Robert and Donald Trump had very different personalities. Donald Trump once described his younger brother as “much quieter and easygoing than I am,” and "the only guy in my life whom I ever call ‘honey.’”
“I think it must be hard to have me for a brother but he’s never said anything about it and we’re very close," Donald Trump wrote in his 1987 bestseller “The Art of the Deal.” “Robert gets along with almost everyone," he added, "which is great for me since I sometimes have to be the bad guy.”
"Uncle Robert, we love you," she wrote. "You are in our hearts and prayers, always."
Her brother, Eric Trump, called their uncle an "incredible man — strong, kind loyal to the core."
"Anyone who encountered him felt his warmth immediately. He will be deeply missed by our entire family," he said in a tweet.