Donald Trump has said his late brother was his “biggest fan” and was “so angry with China” over the coronavirus pandemic.
Robert Trump, the president’s youngest brother, died at the age of 71 on Saturday.
The president, 74, had visited his sibling in hospital in New York the day before, after it was revealed he had been “very ill”.
Speaking on the phone on Monday to Fox News, the US commander-in-chief said his brother was “so upset” about the COVID-19 crisis and how China did not stop what the president called “the plague”.
Mr Trump said of Robert: “He was so angry with China. Because of what happened where the plague came in and they shouldn’t have allowed it to happen, they could’ve stopped it. He was so upset by that.
“He couldn’t – more than people would be upset. A lot of people have already forgotten, and you can’t forget. But he was a fantastic guy.”
Mr Trump also said Robert had not been jealous of him becoming leader of the country.
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He said: “When I became president, he was, I think, one of the most loyal people. There was no jealously… There was not an ounce of jealousy. He’d go around talking about how great this is for the country and ‘it’s so incredible’ and he was my biggest fan.”
Mr Trump added: “People would tell me all the time, ‘I spoke to your brother and your brother was so thrilled and so thrilled at what was happening’.”
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After his death, the president said in a statement: “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.”
Robert Trump’s cause of death has not been disclosed, however the businessman reportedly spent at least 10 days in June in the neurosciences intensive care unit at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan.
After he left hospital he sued his and the president’s niece, Mary Trump, over her plan to publish a book about the Trump family.
However, Robert failed in several court actions to stop publication of the book, which is called Too Much And Never Enough: How My Family Created The World’s Most Dangerous Man.
Robert argued that Mary Trump had violated a non-disclosure agreement she signed with him, the president and their sister, retired federal appeals court judge Maryanne Trump Barry.