Pope 'terrific', Saudi 'spectacular': Trump waxes lyrical on foreign tour


Trump gave the pope a boxed set of five first-edition books by murdered USA civil rights leader Martin Luther King.As Trump and the pope said goodbye at the door of the study, Trump told him: "Thank you, thank you".

Also present were Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and Keith Schiller, Trump's former bodyguard, as well as Hicks and Scavino. We had a fantastic meeting."A Vatican statement said the meeting was "cordial" and that the Vatican hoped there could be "serene collaboration" between the U.S. government and the American Catholic Church, including "assistance to immigrants".The U.S. Catholic Church hierarchy opposes Trump's attempt to cut federal assistance for cities that give sanctuary to illegal immigrants".

"What are you feeding him, potica?" the pope asked the first lady.

Pope Francis urged U.S. President Donald Trump to be a peacemaker at their first meeting in the Vatican, but he was not all smiles throughout their meeting.

The White House says the gift "honors Dr. King's hope, vision, and inspiration for generations to come".

He squeezed Trump into an early morning slot so as not to have to cancel or delay his regular Wednesday general audience in St. Peter's Square.

"A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian", said Francis during a visit to Mexico. The pontiff has been a vocal advocate for aiding refugees, particularly those fleeing the violence in Syria, deeming it both a "moral imperative" and "Christian duty" to help.

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Trump retorted that it was "disgraceful" for the pope to doubt his faith.

Trump's visit to the Eternal City follows two stops in the Middle East where he visited the cradles of Islam and Judaism.

In contrast to the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Israel, Pope Francis did not exactly roll out the red carpet. In Israel, Trump reaffirmed his commitment to strong ties with the longtime US ally and urged Israelis and the Palestinians to work harder toward peace.

The two shared a laugh as the president looked on, also smiling. No details or timetable have yet to be established for negotiations.

He arrived late Wednesday in Brussels.

But while Trump received extravagantly warm welcomes in Riyadh and Jerusalem, the reception could grow cooler now that he's reached Europe, site of widespread protests after his election.