“One of the greats in the history of television, Regis Philbin has passed on to even greater airwaves, at 88. He was a fantastic person, and my friend. He kept telling me to run for President. Holds the record for ‘most live television’, and he did it well. Regis, we love you,” he tweeted.
“And to Joy, his wonderful wife who he loved so much, my warmest condolences!!!” the president added.
Trump’s tweets were met with immediate backlash from people who felt that he was making Philbin’s death about himself rather than honoring the former host of Live with Regis and Kathy Lee and Live with Regis and Kelly.
“Must you make everything about you?” wrote filmmaker and producer Andy Ostroy.
Others asked where Trump’s quick compassion was when Representative John Lewis, whose funeral was held on Saturday, died. Lewis was a respected figure who helped lead the civil rights movement and represented Georgia until he passed last week.
Still, others tied Trump’s message to the number of people who have died from the novel coronavirus in the United States, saying that he had yet to offer words of comfort to those who had lost a loved one due to the pandemic.
As of Saturday, over 148,000 people had died from COVID-19, a number that critics say could have been reduced if Trump had encouraged the wearing of masks and facilitated widespread testing sooner.
Some individuals added that the president should also be offering comfort to the soldiers who died after Russia allegedly put bounties on their heads. There were reports earlier this month that the president was made aware Russia had offered to pay Taliban-associated fighters to kill American soldiers, but that he chose not to act on the information.
Philbin was also remembered by his former co-host Kelly Ripa, as The Inquisitr previously reported.
Despite their differences, the co-host said that she felt he was a “class act” and expressed gratitude that she was able to work with him for as long as she did. She also offered love to his family.
The media personality had struggled with heart disease for several years before ultimately succumbing to the ailment. His family announced Philbin’s passing, adding that it was just one month short of his 89th birthday.