TRUMP AND FAMILY MEET THE POPE
Trump, Francis have private meeting at the Vatican
PRESIDENT Donald Trump and Pope Francis, two leaders with contrasting styles and differing world views, met here yesterday, setting aside their previous clashes to broadcast a tone of peace for an audience around the globe.
Trump, midway through his gruelling nine-day maiden international journey, called upon the pontiff at the Vatican yesterday, where the two had a private meeting laden with religious symbolism and ancient protocol.
The president, accompanied by his wife and several aides, arrived at the Vatican just after 8am. He greeted Francis in Sala del Tronetto, the room of the little throne, on the second floor of Apostolic Palace.
Upon completing their meeting, the pope gave the president a medal featuring an olive branch, a symbol of peace, among other gifts.
“We can use peace,” the president responded.
The visit began with a handshake between the two men.
Trump could be heard thanking the pope and saying it was “a great honour” to be there. They then posed for photographs before sitting down at the papal desk, the pope unsmiling, as their private meeting began.
It ended a half hour later when Francis rang the bell in his private study. The pontiff was then introduced to members of Trump’s delegation, including his wife Melania, his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, as well as aides Hope Hicks and Dan Scavino.
Smiling, Francis had a light moment with the First Lady, asking via translator, “What do you give him to eat, pizza?”
Melania giggled and said “Pizza? Yes.”
As is tradition, the pope and president exchanged gifts. Trump presented the pontiff with books written by Martin Luther King Jr, saying: “I think you’ll enjoy them. I hope you do.”
The pope presented Trump with the medal, a message of peace and three bound papal documents that to some degree define his papacy and priorities.
When Trump departed, he told the pope: “Thank you, I won’t forget what you said.” AP
Pope Francis with United States President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania (centre), son-in-law Jared Kushner (left) and daughter Ivanka (second from left) during a private audience at the Vatican yesterday.