Donald Trump and Pope Francis Meet at The Vatican

Melania and Ivanka Trump joined the meeting alongside the president, wearing veils after refusing to do so in Saudi Arabia.

On Wednesday, the Pope and President Donald Trump met at the Vatican for the first time. 

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Donald Trump arrived at the Vatican on Wednesday at about 8:20 am, where the Pope shook his hand and guided him to his study.

Trump was followed by Melania, his wife, Ivanka Trump, his adviser and daughter, Jared Kushner, her husband, Rex W. Tillerson, Secretary of State, and HR McMaster, national security adviser.

This marks Trump’s third stop after visiting Saudi Arabia and Israel over the past week.  This marks the first meeting between the two figures.

Comments on the Meeting

A Vatican official, Cardinal Peter Turkson, tweeted about the differences between the Pope and President Trump: “Pope Francis & Pres Trump reach out to Islam-world to exorcise it of rel. Violence. One offers peace of dialogue, the other security of arms.” Turkson was referencing the $110 billion weaponry sale Trump signed with Saudi Arabia.

Jesuit priest Antonio Spadaro said: “The thing they have in common is a major responsibility to govern. The pope is an actor on the world stage and Trump is the president of a country with a huge impact on the world.”

Pope Francis had previously expressed his disapproval of Trump’s rhetoric during his campaign.

However, when Pope Francis was asked about his expectations of the meeting, he said: “In our talk, things will come out, I will say what I think, he will say what he thinks, but I never, ever, wanted to make a judgment without hearing the person.”

Some are also criticizing Ivanka and Melania Trump’s decisions to wear a veil at the Vatican but not in Saudi Arabia, where, by law, women are obliged to cover their hair.

Trump’s adviser, Hope Hicks, also wore a veil at the Vatican.

After meeting with the Pope, Trump is due to meet with Italy’s Prime minister and president, and later flying to Brussels for a NATO summit.