President Donald Trump appears at press briefing at the White House on Friday before traveling to New York to visit his younger brother, Robert, in a hospital. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 16 (UPI) -- Robert Trump, the younger brother of President Donald Trump, died Saturday night in a New York hospital, the White House said in a statement. He was 71.
"It is with heavy heart I share that my wonderful brother, Robert, peacefully passed away tonight," the president said in a statement. "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."
On Friday, the president visited his brother at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan.
Robert Trump was admitted to the New York hospital for an undisclosed illness. CNN reported he was hospitalized in June in serious condition with an undisclosed illness.
"I have a wonderful brother. We have a great relationship for a long time, from day one," the president told reporters at a news briefing Friday afternoon. "He's in the hospital right now.
"Hopefully he'll be alright, but ... he's having a hard time."
This weekend Trump has been at his private golf club in Bedminster, N.J. He conducted a press briefing late Saturday afternoon at the club.
Robert Trump, who was three years younger than the president, worked in corporate finance on Wall Street and later joined the Trump Organization as a top executive, managing real estate holdings.
He lived in Millbrook, N.Y.
Donald Trump wrote about his brother in 1987 in his book, The Art of the Deal.
"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. Robert gets along with almost everyone, which is great for me since I sometimes have to be the bad guy."
Robert Trump filed an unsuccessful temporary restraining order seeking to block the publication of a book by Mary Trump, the daughter of Fred Trump Jr., the older brother of the president who died in 1981.
Robert and Donald Trump said the book was in violation of a non-disclosure agreement she signed as a financial settlement she received from the Trump family.
The book included details about the the Trump family, including the president's childhood and upbringing.
Robert Trump is survived by two older sisters, Maryanne Barry, a retired federal judge, and Elizabeth Trump Grau, a former executive for Chase Manhattan Bank.
"Uncle Robert, we love you. You are in our hearts and prayers, always," Donald Trump's daughter, Ivanka Trump, posted on Twitter Saturday night.