Trump: Cokie Roberts 'never treated me nicely' but 'was a professional'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse panel approves 0.5B defense policy bill House panel votes against curtailing Insurrection Act powers after heated debate House panel votes to constrain Afghan drawdown, ask for assessment on 'incentives' to attack US troops MORE said pioneering journalist Cokie Roberts, who died Tuesday at the age of 75, “never treated me nicely” but praised her as “a professional."

“I never met her. She never treated me nicely. 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,” Trump told reporters on the flight from Albuquerque, N.M., to Mountain View, Calif., on Tuesday.

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Roberts’ death prompted an outpouring of support from media colleagues and political figures, including former presidents Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaHow Obama can win back millions of Trump voters for Biden Biden taps Obama alums for high-level campaign positions: report Democrats debate Biden effort to expand map against Trump MORE, who called her “a trailblazing figure [and] a role model to young women at a time when the profession was still dominated by men,” and George W. Bush, who called her “a talented, tough, and fair reporter.”

Roberts, the winner of three Emmys, a Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism and an Edward R. Murrow Award, co-anchored ABC’s “This Week” with Sam DonaldsonSamuel (Sam) Andrew DonaldsonMSNBC's Nicolle Wallace says she'll 'gladly' vote for Sanders Former colleague Brit Hume on Sam Donaldson's Bloomberg endorsement: 'Never thought I'd see this' Sam Donaldson pens op-ed endorsing Bloomberg for president MORE from 1996 to 2002 and served as NPR’s congressional correspondent for more than a decade beginning in 1978.

"Cokie's kindness, generosity, sharp intellect and thoughtful take on the big issues of the day made ABC a better place and all of us better journalists,” ABC News President James Goldston said in a statement Tuesday.

Brett Samuels contributed to this report.