Robert, younger brother to US President Donald Trump, has passed away at 71. 

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The US president, who broke the sad news in a statement on Saturday, described the deceased as his “best friend”.

Robert was said to have died at a New York hospital, where he had been receiving treatment for an undisclosed illness.

It was not immediately clear what led to his death, which came barely a day after Trump visited him at the hospital.

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“It is with heavy heart I share that my wonderful brother, Robert, peacefully passed away tonight,” the statement read.

“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.”

Ivanka Trump also took to her social media page to pen a terse tribute to the deceased.

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“Uncle Robert, we love you. You are in our hearts and prayers, always,” she wrote on Twitter.

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Eric, Donald Trump’s son, said his late uncle was an “incredible man” who impacted those around him positively.

“Robert Trump was an incredible man – strong, kind and loyal to the core. Anyone who encountered him felt his warmth immediately. He will be deeply missed by our entire family,” he wrote on Twitter.

Robert was the youngest of Fredrick and Mary Anne Trump’s five children.

He worked as the executive vice-president of the Trump Organisation, a firm owned by the US president.

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