The Pope may have gotten through to President Trump.
Pope Francis urged Trump to give peace — and environmental protections — a chance when the two talked at the Vatican Wednesday, in a meeting of two men who apparently buried their surreal feud from the presidential campaign.
Trump and His Holiness sat down for a 30-minute private morning meeting in the Apostolic Palace, and it is unclear what they discussed through their translators.
But after their talk, the Pope presented Trump a medal with an olive branch, a symbol for peace.
“It is my desire that you become an olive tree to construct peace,” Francis said in Spanish.
“We can use peace,” the typically combative Trump responded.
The Pope also handed the President a copy of a letter he wrote in 2015 urging protection for the planet from global warming — efforts Trump has stalled through numerous cuts and changes curbing America’s environmental efforts.
“Well, I’ll be reading them,” Trump said.
As the two parted ways, Trump told Francis, “Thank you, thank you. I won’t forget what you said.”
A Vatican statement described the meeting as “cordial,” and Francis warmly received Trump’s family, joking with First Lady Melania Trump about the diet of the hefty commander-in-chief. The Pope, though, seemed less enthused in sullen photos with the Trump family.
The Pope publicly criticized several of Trump’s policy proposals during the 2016 race, escalating into one of the most unlikely conflicts of the contentious campaign.
After Francis in February 2016 suggested Trump was “not Christian” for wanting to build a Mexico border wall, Trump fired back and said the Pope’s questioning of his faith was “disgraceful.”
Francis has been an outspoken advocate for the rights of immigrants and refugees and for the urgency of fighting climate change — issues on which he shares little common ground with Trump.
Trump stopped by the Vatican on his second day in Rome, during his nine-day first foreign trip as President.
With News Wire Services