Pope Francis Met With Donald Trump
- Author: Leroy Wright May 25, 2017,
May 25, 2017, 19:36
During the election season past year, the pope had criticised the then-presidential candidate for his approach to immigration. "A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian", the Pope said at the time, which caused Trump to fire back with his own holier-than-thou response.
The pope had presented Trump with a medallion engraved with an olive tree, the global symbol of peace.
"I won't forget what you said", Trump told the pope.
Knowing that Pope Francis frequently has quoted Martin Luther King Jr, Trump presented Pope Francis will a large gift box containing five of the slain civil rights leader's books, including a signed copy of The Strength to Love. Some wore t-shirts saying "Make Humanity Great Again" and "Donald Back to USSR" - referring to a probe into allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.
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But there remains much that divides the two men, from their views on capitalism and refugees to climate change and the building of the border wall. Although both appeared determined not to let politics spoil their encounter, their fraught history and divergent personal styles made for a loaded backdrop.
Francis's interpreter could be heard translating a comment by the pope to the First Lady: "What do you give him to eat?"
Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, had a private audience with Francis at the Vatican in 2014 that lasted 50 minutes.
Speaking to reporters later, Trump described the session as "fantastic".
A statement from the Vatican said that "satisfaction was expressed" at their "joint commitment in favor of life" and that there was hoped-for collaboration on health care, assistance to immigrants and protection of Christian communities in the Middle East.
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She said that in her meeting with representatives of Sant'Egidio, they were able to discuss several programs "that have been successfully launched and developed over many, many years now".
"We went to the Pope", Trump told Tusk and Juncker.
By the time the doors reopened at the end, however, both men seemed genuinely relaxed and at ease, with Francis even cracking a joke with Melania Trump about what she feeds her husband.
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Security has been stepped up across Rome, with the areas around the Vatican City, the Italian presidential palace and the American ambassador's residence, where Mr Trump is staying, temporarily closed to traffic.
The Pope welcomed Trump to the Vatican, Wednesday, indulging in handshakes before ushering the president into his study for their first face-to-face meeting, reports said.
Mr Trump is now in Brussels for talks with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and European Union officials. He spent the night at the USA ambassador to Italy's residence.
"The pope is talking about climate change, he's handing [Trump] the encyclical".