President Joe Biden reacted to the news of the death of AFL-CIO Union President Richard Trumka on Thursday at the White House, calling him a “very close friend.”
“He was more than head of the AFL-CFO, he was a good, close, personal, friend,” Biden said at an event at the White House.
The president said that Trumka died during a camping trip with his grandsons, reportedly of a heart attack.
“At least he was with people who adored him,” Biden said shortly.
Trumka was 72.
“We’re sorry for your loss, Mr. President,” one White Hosue reporter replied after Biden finished speaking about Trumka.
Trumka served as a union titan for decades, closely aligning himself with President Biden’s 2020 run for office.
The president met with Trumka in February to promote his proposed infrastructure plan, promising to support union labor.
“As they say in parts of my state, ‘These are the folks that brung me to the dance.’ And I appreciate their friendship,” he said, repeating his support for organized labor.
Trumka described the meeting with Biden as “the most productive Oval Office meeting in years” and fully supported the president’s infrastructure plan.