Trump and pope focus on peace

Tensions in their past, Trump and Pope Francis meet

President Donald Trump met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Wednesday and they exchange gifts.

Under clear blue skies, Mr Trump received a tribute from the Swiss Guard in a Vatican courtyard when he arrived.

During the campaign, Trump's doctor, Harold Bornstein, evaluated the then-candidate's lab results to be "astonishingly excellent", adding on the dubious claim: "If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency". But after a half-hour meeting behind closed doors, Francis seemed to have cheered up considerably.

The two men had never met before Wednesday morning but they have significant history having clashed publicly over subjects ranging from migration to unbridled capitalism and climate change.

The books and the granite were a nod to Pope Francis' 2015 address to Congress, in which he praised King's civil rights legacy, the White House said.

When President Trump visits the Vatican next week, he will be transformed by the radiant wisdom of His Holiness, the Pope, into a fully fledged climate change believer.

For Trump, who landed in Rome after stops in Saudi Arabia and Israel, the audience in the Vatican caps a tour of the ancestral homes of three of the world's great monotheistic religions.




The dessert is obviously very rich - could the pope have been poking fun at the president's stature?

Since Melania sported a veil in her meeting with the pope, accusations of double standards were raised for the Trumps. "I think you will enjoy them", Trump told the Pope.

The Pope gave Mr Trump a signed copy of a message he delivered for World Peace Day, along with some of his writings about the need to protect the environment.

Trump is in Italy for a two day visit, including a meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican, ahead of his participation in a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting in Brussels on Thursday. "Potica, ah yes", the Slovenian-born first lady smiled before stepping aside.

"It is my desire that you become an olive tree to construct peace", the Pope said.

Despite the heavy police presence, about 100 anti-Trump protesters held a rally in one of Rome's squares on Tuesday evening.

He will fly to Brussels later in the day for a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit, and will wrap up his tour on Friday after the G7 summit on the Italian island of Sicily.

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