“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 President said.
Donald Trump is expected to attend his brother’s funeral. However no details were immediately available on plans. Additionally, a source familiar said the President personally dictated the White House statement on his brother.
The President called his brother’s hospital room late on Saturday as it seemed his death was near, two people familiar with the matter told CNN. It’s not clear whether they connected or whether Robert Trump’s condition allowed him to speak by phone with the President.
Separately, several people who spoke to Trump Saturday said he appeared saddened by the impending loss of his brother.
Donald Trump made a last minute decision to go to New York Friday to visit his brother as he headed to New Jersey for the weekend.
Robert Trump had been admitted to New York-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan.
Details of Robert Trump’s illness have not been released. He had been sick for several months, a person familiar with knowledge of the matter told CNN.
During a White House briefing on Friday, Trump declined to provide reporters with details on his brother’s illness.
“Hopefully he’ll be alright, but he’s — he’s pretty — he’s having a hard time,” he added.
Later Friday as he headed to see his brother Trump told reporters: “He’s having a tough time.”
The younger Trump was previously hospitalized in June with an undisclosed serious condition CNN has previously reported.
Robert Trump had served as an executive vice president of the Trump Organization. Part of his duties including overseeing the organization’s Atlantic City casinos.
Before his death, Robert Trump resided in Millbrook, New York, in the Hudson Valley.
In June, Robert Trump filed a temporary restraining order in an attempt to block the publication of an unflattering tell-all book by Mary Trump, Fred Trump Jr.’s daughter.
CORRECTION: This headline and story have been updated to correct Robert Trump’s age. He was 71.
This story has been updated with additional developments.
CNN’s Betsy Klein and Kevin Bohn contributed to this report.