Trump sticks to the script on first trip overseas as president


Today, as part of his first major foreign tour, Trump visited The Vatican in Rome for an audience with His Holiness Pope Francis. And according to reports, the 80-year-old pontiff took full advantage of the opportunity ― Pope Francis gave Donald Trump his climate change encyclical as a gift, which is probably not something the president, a notorious climate change denier, has much interest in. I remember there was some negative discussion a few months ago, ” Brown told reporters in San Francisco, where he spoke at a climate conference hosted by the California Environmental Protection Agency and the Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment.

Pope Francis has relaxed the expectation that bishops wear cassocks when meeting him, so now they wear clerical collars.

President Trump's commitment to fighting extremism and intolerance will win approval from the Pope, as will his determination to bring peace to the Middle East.

Trump gave the pope a set of books by Martin Luther King Jr., a photo of the pope's 2015 address to Congress and a flowering lotus sculpture.

"Potica?" Francis asked Melania, in a reference to a calorie-laden cake that comes from her native Slovenia and is pronounced "potteezza". The texts have no charts, not a single mention of Trump's name and they're a lot longer than 140 characters.

There was some confusion, however, over why the first lady wore a veil - or a mantilla - at the Vatican while she didn't wear a headscarf in the Muslim country of Saudi Arabia. Some prominent women have worn headscarfs for official visits to Saudi Arabia, but it isn't necessarily considered an insult to the country's leaders to not wear one.

The Pope had been pretty unequivocal in his views on Trump before their meeting, saying he was "not Christian" over his plans for a US-Mexico border wall.

"A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian", Francis said.

More news: Klopp hoping to finish transfer deals early
More news: Hamilton concedes Vettel has the advantage in Monaco
More news: There's a $2 trillion oversight in Trump's budget proposal

IT could have caused a diplomatic incident but a culinary quip from Pope Francis seemed to have gone down well with Donald Trump and his wife Melania.

President Barack Obama meets with Pope Francis at the Vatican on March 27, 2014.

Trump hit back by calling Francis's comments "disgraceful" for doubting his faith.

Mrs. Trump then joined the president for a peek at the Sistine Chapel before visiting St. Peter's Basilica, which was closed to tourists until the visit was over.

Though both Trump and Francis are known for their unpredictability, papal visits with heads of state are carefully arranged bits of political and religious theater that follow a specific program, with little room for deviation or unwanted surprises.

The president is midway through a grueling nine-day, maiden global journey which has included Middle East stops in the cradles of Islam and Judaism.

While Trump received warm welcomes in Riyadh and Jerusalem, the reception could grow cooler now that he's reached Europe, site of widespread protests after his election. Fortunately, it won't take very long to find out whether that's true ― the first family arrived in Brussels, Belgium, after wrapping up their brief Vatican trip, and will arrive in Sicily for Friday's summit.