The death of President Donald Trump’s younger brother was fashioned into a weapon against him by social media voices eager to launch conspiracy theories.
Robert Trump, 71, died Saturday night at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan, according to The New York Times.
The Times, citing a family friend it did not name, reported that Robert Trump had been on blood thinners and suffered brain bleeds that began after a recent fall.
The president had gone to see his brother Friday at the hospital.
The White House on Saturday released a statement from the president saying, “It is with heavy heart I share that my wonderful brother, Robert, peacefully passed away tonight. 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.”
The somber tone from the White House was very different from the sniping that emerged on social media, as multiple voices sought to tie Robert Trump’s death to the coronavirus — and suggest the White House is covering it up.
Something tells me we’re not going to find out why Robert Trump died and something tells me we all know why.
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) August 16, 2020
Including possibly his own brother.
— Nell Scovell (@NellSco) August 16, 2020
Did Robert Trump die from Coronavirus?
— Billy Baldwin (@BillyBaldwin) August 16, 2020
Members of the president’s family expressed their condolences.
Uncle Robert, we love you. You are in our hearts and prayers, always.
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) August 16, 2020
Robert Trump was an incredible man – strong, kind and loyal to the core. Anyone who encountered him felt his warmth immediately. He will be deeply missed by our entire family.
— Eric Trump (@EricTrump) August 16, 2020
The Washington Post came in for criticism over its initial treatment of Robert Trump’s death, linking it to the release of a memoir that criticized the president.
This headline, on an “obituary” no less, is sick. WaPo should be ashamed of itself.
Robert Trump, RIP. pic.twitter.com/5iG4EmmK9D
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) August 16, 2020
The Washington Post couldn’t put politics aside for one night.
They treated the Leader of ISIS better than the brother of the President of the United States.. pic.twitter.com/wqnnK6mTRy
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) August 16, 2020
The Post later revised its headline to read, “Robert Trump, younger brother of President Trump, dies at 71.”
Robert Trump had initially worked on Wall Street, but later became a senior executive at the Trump Organization.
Jack O’Donnell, a former Trump Organization executive, told The New York Times that Robert Trump was “dignified, he was quiet, he listened, he was good to work with. He had zero sense of entitlement. Robert was very comfortable being Donald Trump’s brother and not being like him.”
“You could consider him the quietest of Trumps,” Michael D’Antonio, a Trump family biographer, said, according to The Times.
“He was glad to stay out of the spotlight.”
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