Donald Trump said journalist Cokie Roberts, who died on Tuesday, was never nice in her coverage of him, but still expressed his condolences to her family.
'I never met her. She never treated me nicely,' Trump told reporters Tuesday traveling with him on Air Force One. 'But I would like to wish her family well. She was a professional, and I respect professionals. 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.'
The veteran journalist and broadcast legend died at the age of 75 on Tuesday due to complications from breast cancer, according to her family.
Trump's comments regarding her death were originally made during a 50-minute off-the-record talk with reporters on Air Force One who were traveling with the president from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Mountain View, California for fundraisers.
He later allowed some parts of the conversation to be changed to on-the-record, including those about Roberts.
Roberts, along with her husband Steve, co-wrote a column in March 2016 where they both called for 'the rational wing' of the Republican Party to reject Trump as their presidential candidate.
'The stakes are far too high for the rationalists to stay on the sidelines, and their first motive should be political self-interest,' they wrote in the NPR column.
Donald Trump reacted to journalist Cokie Roberts' death Tuesday, claiming she never covered him or his presidency 'nicely,' but said he respected her as a professional
Veteran journalist and broadcast legend Cokie Roberts died of complications from breast cancer at the age of 75 on Tuesday, her family said in a statement
In 2016, she co-authored a column calling for 'the rational wing' of the Republican Party to reject Trump as their presidential candidate
During the 2016 campaign, she also bashed Trump in live TV on the impact of his rhetoric on race and race relations, and while Trump was on the phone during an MSNBC broadcast, she said students were using racial slurs against classmates in Trump's name.
'Are you proud of that? Is that something that you've done in American social and political discourse that you are proud of?' Roberts asked the president.
'I think your question is a very nasty question,' Trump responded, before saying he had not heard of such reports.
Regarded as a pioneer in the journalism industry, she worked for several of the nation's top news outlets over the years and spent the past three decades with ABC News.
'Cokie had a storied career over 40 years in television, public radio and publishing,' ABC News President James Goldston said in a letter to the news division obtained by DailyMail.com.
'A true pioneer for women in journalism, Cokie was well-regarded for her insightful analysis of politics and policy in Washington, DC, countless newsmaking interviews, and, notably, her unwavering support for the generations of young women – and men – who would follow her in her footsteps.'
Roberts is seen discussing the presidential campaign on Good Morning America in 2016. She covered politics for 40 years and her colleagues said she never grew cynical or lost her love for the beat
Roberts is one of the most respected figures in American journalism, having covered politics for several top news outlets over her 40-year career. She spent the past three decades at ABC News
Roberts was born Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne Boggs on December 27, 1943. She was the daughter of two politicians, Hale Boggs, a former House majority leader from Louisiana, and Lindy Boggs, who succeeded her husband in the job.
She began her career as a foreign correspondent for CBS in the 1970s before joining NPR in 1978 as a political reporter on Capitol Hill, eventually becoming the emerging outlet's congressional correspondent.
She joined ABC News in 1988 but remained a political commentator for NPR.
Roberts started out at ABC as chief congressional analyst for This Week with David Brinkley and later became an anchor alongside Sam Donaldson from 1996 to 2002.
Roberts won many major awards in her journalism career, including three Emmys, and received more than 30 honorary degrees.
She was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame and was named as one of the 50 greatest women in the history of broadcasting by the American Women in Radio and Television organization.
Roberts was named a 'Living Legend' by the Library of Congress in 2008, becoming one of few Americans to ever receive that honor.
She also published six books about women in history and her family, many of them best-sellers.