Donald Trump pays tribute to Kobe Bryant and daughter

US President Donald Trump has paid tribute to Kobe Bryant after the basketball icon was killed in a helicopter crash with his daughter Gianna, 13.

The crash, which saw the chopper burst into flames on a California mountainside on Sunday morning, also claimed the lives of seven others.

Those named so far include Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, as well as his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa.

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Mr Trump took to Twitter to pay his respects to the 41-year-old former LA Lakers player, calling him “one the truly great players of all time”.

The president went on to say the star “loved his family so much”, while the added loss of his young daughter makes the tragedy “more devastating”.

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He wrote: “Kobe Bryant, despite being one of the truly great basketball players of all time, was just getting started in life.

“He loved his family so much, and had such strong passion for the future.

“The loss of his beautiful daughter, Gianna, makes this moment even more devastating.”

In a follow up tweet, he added: “Melania and I send our warmest condolences to Vanessa and the wonderful Bryant family. May God be with you all!”

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