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

President TrumpDonald John TrumpMnuchin knocks Greta Thunberg's activism: Study economics and then 'come back' to us The Hill's Morning Report - House prosecutes Trump as 'lawless,' 'corrupt' What to watch for on Day 3 of Senate impeachment trial 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 ObamaObama marks MLK Day by honoring King for his 'poetic brilliance' and 'moral clarity' Biden breaks away from 2020 pack in South Carolina National Archives says it altered Trump signs, other messages in Women's March photo 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 DonaldsonSam Donaldson: Unlikely Trump is 'wagging the dog' with Iran strike Trump: Cokie Roberts 'never treated me nicely' but 'was a professional' Journalists, political heavyweights pay respects to Cokie Roberts: 'A pioneer for so many' 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.