Pope: 1, Trump: 0 in Passive-Aggressive Gift Exchange
- Author: Leroy Wright May 25, 2017,
May 25, 2017, 16:35
Pope Francis and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in May 2013.
Donald Trump's daughter, Ivanka, and his wife Melania, are standing immediately to his right, dressed in black with their heads covered in black veils, they look like the most handsome witches this side of hell.
When pool entered the study, the Pope and the president were seatedacross from each other at the Pope's wooden desk. Mr Trump, seeming subdued, said: "It is a great honour". He looked at poolseveral times.
The Pope's gift left no questions about its symbolism, presenting Trump with an olive tree medal crafted by a Roman artist that the Pope said symbolizes peace.
"We can use peace", the President responded.
It was a private meeting lasting half an hour - a little less compared to Barack Obama - which Vatican sources assure "went decidedly well". The pontiff was then introduced to members of Trump's delegation, including his wife Melania, his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, as well as aides Hope Hicks and Dan Scavino.
Not everything the Pope does is about climate change. Trump presented the pontiff with a custom-bound, first-edition set of Martin Luther King Jr.'s works, an engraved stone from the King memorial in Washington and a bronze sculpture of a flowering lotus titled "Rising Above".
Departing with a handshake, Trump said to Francis: "Thank you, thank you, I won't forget what you said".
In addition to the customary gift of these three documents, Francis also gave President Trump a copy of his message for the 2017 World Day of Peace, saying: "I signed it personally for you".
The Pope also gifted the USA president with a medallion he said symbolized peace and unity, which, after the translator explained in English, he added in Spanish: "Have it so that you become an instrument of peace".
"Trump not welcome" said banners waved by the crowd, which police said numbered around 9,000. "I am proud to be a Christian and as President I will not allow Christianity to be consistently attacked and weakened", Trump said.
It seems needlessly mean, however, to deny Spicer what could be his single chance to meet a sitting Pope. Was President Trump moved by the meeting? A statement released by the Vatican later said "satisfaction was expressed" at their "joint commitment in favour of life" and that there was hoped-for collaboration on health care and assistance to immigrants and protection of Christian communities in the Middle East.
The First Lady has been somewhat of a loyalist to Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, choosing a suit from them for her official White House portrait, a slimming Dolce & Gabbana cocktail dress with bows on each shoulder on New Year's Eve and a black ruched off-the-shoulder dress for the first presidential debate last fall.