Trump hails Peres as 'consummate statesman'

WASHINGTON -- Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump sent his condolences to the family of Shimon Peres, Israel's founding father who died on Tuesday night.
The elder statesman "was a visible and highly effective patriarch" to both his family and to the nation of Israel, said the GOP nominee. "He was a consummate statesman, a distinguished patriot and a friend of peace-loving people everywhere."
"Peres personified dignity and grace in a region of the world where both run far too short," he added.
Trump, who is currently trailing his Democratic rival in the polls, does not plan on attending Peres' funeral on Friday in Israel. Neither will  opponent, Hillary Clinton, although her husband, former President Bill Clinton, does plan on attending the ceremony.
Peres expressed no praise for Trump when offered the opportunity in April: "I don't think there is much to think about him," he said of the rising Republican candidate.