Donald Trump and his family made their way to the Vatican to meet with Pope Francis, who seemed to be in no mood to be schmoozed by America’s top con man. The meeting seemed icy from the start. From the press pool report of the initial meeting:
"Thank you so much," President Trump said to Pope Francis when they shook hands.After shaking hands, the pope and POTUS walked into the pope's
private study, which is just off the room where they shook hands.When pool entered the study, the pope and the president were seated
across from each other at the pope's wooden desk.
POTUS told the pope it's "a very great honor."
The pope did not say anything. He did not smile. He looked at pool
several times. We were quickly ushered out at 8:33am.
You can see that moment in the photo below. Pope Francis seems to be asking God what he did to deserve this. We’re all asking ourselves that, Holy Father.
And then came the traditional gift exchange. The reporters were brought back into the room and Pope Francis handed Trump an unexpected gift, his encyclical on climate change, something Trump has often called a “hoax.” From Bloomberg News:
Francis gave the U.S. president a copy of his 2015 encyclical calling for urgent, drastic cuts in fossil-fuel emissions after a half-hour meeting in his private study.
Francis’s choice of gift suggests he is adding his voice to those pressing Trump not to renege on the Paris accord, which is the cornerstone of global efforts to limit climate change. The Vatican said in a statement that the talks focused on international affairs and the promotion of peace, with particular emphasis on health care, education and immigration.
“Thank you, thank you,” Trump told Francis as they shook hands after the meeting. “I won’t forget what you said.” Trump has said climate change might be a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese.
And what did Trump give Pope Francis? A bronze statue, a piece of granite from the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial and a first edition set of writings by Martin Luther King, Jr. Trump pointed to them and said, “These books are from Martin Luther King. I think you will enjoy them.” Donald, these books are by Martin Luther King, Jr. They are not from Martin Luther King, Jr. Watch the brief exchange below.
Trump thanked Pope Francis and departed saying, "I won't forget what you said." He then boarded Air Force One and promptly got back to pushing his budget, which drastically slashes funding for children’s health care, food for the poor, assistance for the disabled, disease prevention and critical medical research for cancer and other deadly diseases. As you can see in the video, Melania Trump once again clearly refuses to touch his tiny orange hands.
The scenes of Trump meeting Francis seem to be in stark contrast to the images that emerged during Pope Francis’ trip to the United States and his meetings with President Barack Obama.
Meanwhile, Pope Francis has been quite clear in the past about his views on Donald Trump, alluding to Donald Trump in these comments: