Pope Francis Gives Trump His Writings, Including on Climate, at Vatican Meeting

As Melania Trump approached and shook hands with the pontiff on Wednesday, Francis asked in Spanish through his interpreter and pointed toward President Donald Trump: "What do you give him to eat?"

On the eve of the pope's meeting with Trump, Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, editor of an influential Italian Jesuit journal, noted that the differences between the two were drawing a lot of attention.

Trump received a tribute from the Swiss Guard in a Vatican courtyard when he arrived.

Pope Francis became a top trending item on Twitter during his meeting with the Trumps, garnering approximately 60,000 tweets in a short period.

And while Trump did not wear a headscarf, she dressed in loose clothing with her arms and legs fully covered, fitting for Saudi Arabia's standards for modesty, Cook said.

Even when the two were sitting at the pope's desk in the presence of photographers and reporters, the pope avoided the kind of small talk that usually occurs before the media is ushered out. After a 30-minute meeting in the Vatican, the president emerged beaming, describing the private audience as "the honour of a lifetime".

"I really don't know because we have never come near a president because we don't like Trump", she said.

Francis's gift included a signed copy of his recent World Day of Peace message and three writings, one of which was Laudato Si': On Care for Our Common Home, all about climate change. The Times notes it's "the first papal encyclical focused exclusively on the environment".

Francis also gave a message of peace and three bound papal documents that to some degree define his papacy and priorities, including the family and the environment.

President Trump, on his part, shared with the press that they had a wonderful meeting and he was grateful that it took place.

In addition, Trump proposed a budget on Tuesday that would decimate climate science research across the federal government, making it harder for scientists to keep tabs on the changing planet. Trump apparently gave the pope a copy of the writings of Martin Luther King Jr.

Before his presidency, Trump expressed pride at his property empire's "great" environmental record which he said "everybody would love" according to the Washington Post in 2011. "I won't forget what you said". It went on to say it hoped there could be "serene collaboration" between the USA government and the American Catholic Church, including, it said pointedly, "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.

Many carried blond-haired effigies of the USA president, and there were also some of Michel. This was Trump's first official visit to the Vatican where he finally got the opportunity to meet the Pope, with whom he has had an interesting relationship so far.

About a year ago, the Pope said that Trump wasn't appropriately serving the Christian faith with his harsh stance on immigration.

The couple then traveled to Brussels, where Trump will meet with the European Union and the European Council presidents, and have a working lunch with Emmanuel Macron, recently elected president of France.

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