Trump says he was honored, inspired by papal meeting

"Honor of a lifetime to meet His Holiness Pope Francis". Just look at him.

Or here delivering a papal dose of mirth to Angela Merkel in 2013 while they both fail miserably at rock, paper scissors. According to CNN, neither leader will disclose what the meeting was about, but the conversation seemed to have a big impact on Trump.

Even though pleasantries were exchanged, the atmosphere of the meeting was reportedly fraught.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump meet Pope Francis, Wednesday, May 24, 2017, at the Vatican. The pope also addressed another important topic: the president's diet. Trump said. "They're using the pope as a pawn, and they should be ashamed of themselves - that's the Mexican government - they should be ashamed of themselves for doing so, especially when so many lives are involved and when illegal immigration is so rampant and so risky and so bad for the United States". What did the pope say? He did not smile. "We were quickly ushered out at 8:33 am".

Which possibly explains this glorious side-eye.

Pope Francis publicly presented President Trump with three of his writings after their first meeting at the Vatican today: his 2013 apostolic exhortation The Joy of the Gospel, his 2016 apostolic exhortation The Joy of Love, and Laudato Si, his 2015 environmental encyclical "On Care For Our Common Home".

The president responded, "We can use peace". "I will never forget what you said to me" Trump said as he shook hands with Francis and said goodbye.

It ended a half hour later when Francis rang the bell in his private study. They were followed by other members of the president's 12-member delegation who included Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, H.R. McMaster, National Security Adviser, and Louis Bono, chargé d'affaires at the US embassy to the Holy See. But the two men appeared on good terms Wednesday, including during a traditional gift exchange.

"Pray with me for all those who are afflicted, especially the poor, refugees, and marginalized, so they may be welcomed and find comfort in our communities", he said.

"By putting everybody together you can really build a coalition and show that it's not a Muslim problem, it's not a Jewish problem, it's not a Catholic problem, it's not a Christian problem, it really is a world problem", the official said.

Francis then gave the president a small sculptured olive tree and told him through the interpreter that it symbolized peace.

Donald Trump described those comments as disgraceful, and accused the pontiff of being a pawn of the Mexican government.

Earlier Tuesday, speaking alongside Trump in Bethlehem, Abbas said the fundamental problem for the Palestinians is with the Israeli occupation and settlements and Israel's failure to recognize Palestine.

The president then called on Italy's president and met briefly with Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni. He presented the USA leader with his encyclical on the environment during their private meeting. "It was an honour to be with the pope".

A Vatican statement said the meeting was "cordial" and that the Vatican hoped there could be "serene collaboration" between the US government and the American Catholic Church, including "assistance to immigrants".

The president's prior anti-Muslim rhetoric - including his musing that Islam "hates" the West - is the antithesis of what the pope has been preaching about a need for dialogue with Muslims.

But there's been another point of dispute: Trump has often pledged to pull out of the Paris Agreement on climate change, and called global warming a hoax created by the Chinese.

  • Arturo Norris