Melania and Ivanka Trump veiled and demure at Pope meeting
- Author: Leroy Wright May 25, 2017,
May 25, 2017, 5:47
Trump and Francis have never seen eye to eye on many policy matters: Francis has put a priority on working to stop climate change, aiding the poor, reducing economic inequality, welcoming immigrants and refugees and providing universal health care.
The meeting between Trump and Pope Francis comes after the U.S. leader visited Western Wall in Jerusalem two days ago.
"We are taking time to understand your concerns", he said in Alaska at Arctic Council meeting.
"A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and does not focus on building bridges, is not a Christian", Francis said.
In response, Trump said, "For a religious leader to question a person's faith is disgraceful". "I give it to you so you may be an instrument of peace". Trump, seeming subdued, said "it is a great honour".
- President Trump has reportedly enlisted a private attorney to help him beat back the investigations into any potential collusion between his campaign and the Russian government. He was accompanied by Rex Tillerson, U.S. secretary of state, and H.R. McMaster, his national security adviser.
Her outfit choices on this trip are so far in line with former first lady Michelle Obama, who also donned a black veil while meeting Pope Benedict XVI in 2009. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, for example, has repeatedly mentioned the need for world leaders to take on climate change together. "I think you will enjoy them", Trump told Francis, as he presented him with a first-edition set of King's writings, recalling the Pope's address to Congress in 2015 in which he quoted King.
Afterward, as he met with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, Trump said of the Pope: "He is something". "Trump's bark is worse than his bite", said a senior Vatican official who was granted anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the meeting.
Francis gave Trump a medal featuring an olive branch.
Trump has threatened to pull out of the Paris climate accord and cancel payments to the United Nation's climate change programs, while the pope wrote a 181-page encyclical on protecting the earth, "Laudato Si" (Praise Be). They included a copy of his influential essay on the importance of saving the environment, a rebuke to the climate change skepticism espoused by Trump.
In "cordial discussions" between Pope Francis and President Donald Trump this morning, "satisfaction was expressed for the good existing bilateral relations" as well as "the joint commitment in favour of life, and freedom of worship and conscience". Whereas with Trump, he does not, Twitter user Cassie Dagostino observed (above).
Pope Francis has extensively cited the works of MLK, including in his congressional address, The Joy of Love and in a speech just a few days before the USA presidential election in which he warned of nationalism and fear that "weakens and destabilizes us, destroys our psychological and spiritual defenses, numbs us to the suffering of others".
Trump sparked fears of an end to the transatlantic alliance when he dismissed North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as "obsolete" while on the campaign trail and mortified the European Union by backing Brexit.