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Journalist Helen Thomas has passed away President Obama reacting to the needs of her death saying Thomas broke down barriers for generations of women in journalism.
She was 92 joining us by phone as someone who knew her well ABC news correspondent Sam Donaldson.
With a long time White House correspondent and worked alongside Helen Thomas in here with us.
I -- do I not only knew Helen I came -- lover I think she was.
The very best.
We have a photograph Sam have you sitting next to Helen Thomas on board Air Force One.
What do you remember most about her as a journalist.
Well hello I have an instinct she learned it early on in our White House career I think she can do quite up in 1961.
Long before I did.
She learned it.
There was something in the air and you can just sit and you would go up to the press office and kind of knock on the press secretaries -- And discovered that it was a big story none of the rest of us -- it but -- do -- again.
You know we see President Carter in the background there you see president John F.
Kennedy there she had a reputation for asking presidents tough questions.
What was she like as a journalist.
Well how strong views and those of us who came to know her well know what those -- work but she kept them I've been in the sense that when she worked for UPI.
You couldn't look at -- copy and think that she was taking one side or another she was a very good wire service reporter in that respect.
Later on a resplendent -- left UPI.
She became a columnist and then you began -- these numbers strong views.
Haven't as of Lebanese -- dissent.
-- she felt very strongly about the Middle East about the question of the Israel Lebanon and that period of -- life and and that.
Place in the world.
But again I just want to emphasize that Helen.
Never in -- copy never industry reporter which you know Mexico.
You know it's interesting that you mention her background and her ties to that part of the world because it was her comments.
In that part of the world bit.
So arguably may have led her to retirement in 2010 she said did you should get out of Palestine and go home did you ever speak with her about that.
Yes I talked to about that is a matter of fact I supported -- from the standpoint of going to organization to try to do to alleviate your pain because she was detained.
I was about 89 at that time.
It was a hot day at the White House -- was -- and it rabbi who was doing a man on the street.
Asking people how they felt about Israel -- -- he he didn't just like government at all.
This chase that there is she blurted out religion should got a -- go back where they came.
Well I told -- later Helen.
Talking to the prime minister of the Palestinian.
You standing by.
He's -- -- that group of what people that I haven't quit you know we can do to lie and we could do this settlement.
-- with the holy places that we can do that make the peace but he says a right of return is never negotiable.
Well let's look how it was statement on that particular day she didn't in the way that it doesn't accept.
I'm not defending her language I'm just telling her that she like many people apparently -- feel very strongly about.
-- I want to reopen.
In -- copy of the report.
-- -- You know it's such so interesting to get your perspective on that because.
Those comments made her relationship with people so polarizing you can understand why she may have chosen at that point to retire but as you mentioned she was 89 years old.
What's your favorite memory.
-- Helen Thomas.
Well my favorite memory of Helen as I stated I said he didn't have learned about it a little different -- great tough questions.
She and I -- she would take the lead in the press room would take the Press Secretary and occasionally with with respect up if the instability and president.
-- -- -- One time Larry speaks who -- President Reagan's Press Secretary during a long period of the time came out and had to do the indispensable.
In this stance that we had all spotted a little mark -- the president knows a little bandage what was that will speak -- It -- just don't get nothing it just -- just checking these Steve there was an inspection.
It back there had been and they eight it's Paula.
Not -- really dangerous killer.
There has been taken out.
And it -- -- -- -- -- the First Lady Nancy Reagan do you do not say that the president had anything that he didn't back to camp.
Well Helen started in -- we're not gonna buy it -- -- -- what but that I helped her out a little bit.
Speak that well.
I just he's that you have a iron curtain descendant of the truth it's that kind of talent and memory I -- -- -- -- Sounds like you were a good friend -- her.
I loved -- I think she was the very best and her body of work despite that.
Is it that you properly run up in which is not predictable from the standpoint of the language -- -- Despite that Helen Thomas would be best -- -- I predict.
Well Sam -- also that we're very fond view and we appreciate you giving us time on the Saturday night to remember your friend thank you.
Always a pleasure -- thank you sure.
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