Trump praises Thad Cochran: 'A real senator with incredible values'

Trump praises Thad Cochran: 'A real senator with incredible values'
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says his advice to impeachment defense team is 'just be honest' Trump expands tariffs on steel and aluminum imports CNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group MORE on Thursday mourned the death of former Sen. Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranBottom Line Mike Espy announces Mississippi Senate bid Biden has a lot at stake in first debate MORE (R-Miss.), praising his values and highlighting his support of the administration's agenda.

"Very sad to hear the news on the passing of my friend, Senator Thad Cochran," Trump tweeted.

"He was a real Senator with incredible values - even flew back to Senate from Mississippi for important Healthcare Vote when he was desperately ill," he added. "Thad never let our Country (or me) down!"

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News of Cochran's death broke while Trump was en route to deliver a commencement address at the Air Force Academy in Colorado.

Cochran, who served in Congress for more than 45 years, died early Thursday morning at the age of 81.

The longtime senator resigned just over a year ago because of health concerns. He previously served as chairman of the Senate Appropriations and Agriculture committees.

Cochran voted "yes" on a skinny repeal of the Affordable Care Act in 2017, but the measure failed after three Republican senators voted against it. 

Later in 2017, Trump asserted that Republicans had the votes needed to move forward with another attempt to repeal ObamaCare, but said that Cochran was "in the hospital." Cochran put out a statement amid the ensuing confusion stating that he was not in the hospital, but recuperating at home.

Cochran's former colleagues celebrated his legacy upon news of his death, commending his character and hailing him as a strong advocate for Mississippi.

"Thad Cochran was a giant in the United States Senate and one of the greatest champions Mississippi has ever known. ... I am grateful and honored to have known him, learned from him, and been his friend. America is a better country because of Thad Cochran," Sen. Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerHillicon Valley — Presented by Philip Morris International — UN calls for probe into alleged Saudi hack of Bezos | Experts see effort to 'silence' Washington Post | Bezos tweets tribute to Khashoggi Senators fret over lack of manpower to build 5G Lawmakers introduce bill to bolster artificial intelligence, quantum computing MORE (R-Miss.) said in a statement.