Cokie Roberts had a fan in the Obama family.
After the veteran ABC News journalist died Monday at age 75, former President Barack Obama hailed Roberts as a “trailblazing figure” and an inspirational icon.
“Michelle and I are sad to hear about the passing of Cokie Roberts,” he said in an emailed statement. “She was a trailblazing figure; a role model to young women at a time when the profession was still dominated by men; a constant over forty years of a shifting media landscape and changing world, informing voters about the issues of our time and mentoring young journalists every step of the way.”
“She will be missed ― and we send our condolences to her family.”
Roberts got her start at CBS News in the 1970s, when women rarely occupied prominent roles in the newsroom. Despite those headwinds, she went on to become a decorated journalist, winning three Emmys.
In 2017, Roberts said she felt privileged to have had a career in the “front seat to history.”
The statement from Obama was a stark contrast from the current president’s response to Roberts’ death. President Donald Trump told reporters Tuesday that he “never met her,” and once again made a person’s death about himself.
“She never treated me nicely, but I would like to wish her family well. She was a professional and I respect professionals. ... Never treated me well, but I certainly respect her,” Trump said, according to a pool report.
Roberts riled up then-candidate Trump in a 2016 interview when she asked him about white children using his name to bully and intimidate Hispanic children. Trump called her question “nasty.”