'He Is Something': Trump Visits Pope Francis At The Vatican
'He Is Something': Trump Visits Pope Francis At The Vatican
25 May, 2017, 09:49
President Donald Trump and Pope Francis, two leaders with contrasting styles and differing worldviews, met at the Vatican City on Wednesday, setting aside their previous clashes to broadcast a tone of peace for an audience around the globe.
Trump gave the pope a boxed set of books from Martin Luther King Jr., telling him, "I think you'll enjoy them, I hope you do".
During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump had a few things to say about Pope Francis.
Accompanied by his wife Melania and daughter Ivanka, Trump met Francis in the private library of the Apostolic Palace, the lavish papal residence that the current pope eschews in favour of more modest lodgings.
"I won't forget what you said", were the president's words at the end of the 30-minute audience in the Vatican that he labeled "fantastic".
The Vatican described the discussions as "cordial" and stressed the two men's joint opposition to abortion and shared concern for persecuted Christians in the Middle East.
It seemed the first lady responded with "pizza?" but it is not clear whether she understood what the pope meant.
The Vatican highlighted in its statement that it hopes to continue providing "assistance to immigrants" as well as health care and education services in the US. On Pope Francis, Trump said, "He is something". Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner as well as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster were also among the US delegation. Trump promised to read them. The president responded by telling Pope Francis that "we can use peace".
"Well, I'll be reading them", said the president, who has called global warming a plot by the Chinese to undermine American manufacturing. "But we had a good exchange (on) the difficulty of balancing addressing climate change, responses to climate change, and ensuring that you still have a thriving economy and you can still offer people jobs so they can feed their families and have a prosperous economy".
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It was not just the comparison between Trump and Obama meeting the Pope that had Twitter's attention.
The pope and the president had a contentious relationship during the presidential election, with the pontiff striking out against Trump's stand on immigration and especially his pledge to build a wall on the Mexican border.
For a religious leader to question a person's faith is disgraceful.
The visit began with a handshake after each man arrived, Trump in a lengthy motorcade, Francis in a Ford Focus.
In Brussels, a city he once dubbed a "hellhole", Mr Trump faced thousands of protesters ahead of his first summits on Thursday with leaders of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the European Union. He will tell me what he thinks.
"Per Vatican protocol, women who have an audience with the Pope are required to wear long sleeves, formal black clothing, and a veil to cover the head", Stephanie Grisham, the first lady's communications director, told CNN.
"Head spinning: Never has a US president expressed so much confidence in a conflict-ending peace agreement with so little prospect of success", tweeted Aaron David Miller who was a USA negotiator on the Middle East in both Republican and Democratic administrations.
In meetings with foreign leaders, Kushner has become a constant presence, from rapid-fire sessions with Arab Gulf leaders on Sunday to a day of shuttle diplomacy with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas Monday.
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