'He Is Something': Trump Visits Pope Francis At The Vatican

The president said he was delivering "books from Martin Luther King". He spent the night at the US ambassador to Italy's residence and will make the drive to the Vatican early Wednesday morning.

Still, experts believe it unlikely the outspoken pope will do anything but be welcoming during his first meeting with Trump. Trump again told the pope, "Thank you".

Upon completing their meeting today, the Pope gave the president a medal featuring an olive branch, a symbol of peace, among other gifts. We had a fantastic meeting."A Vatican statement said the meeting was "cordial" and that the Vatican hoped there could be "serene collaboration" between the U.S. government and the American Catholic Church, including "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".

Wednesday's meeting nevertheless provided a reminder of their differences in style, Trump arriving at the Vatican in a jumbo-sized SUV that couldn't have been further removed from the modest Fiats and Fords Francis prefers.

The charismatic 80-year-old - a decade Trump's senior - warmly shook the First Lady's hand and said, via an interpreter, "What do you give him to eat?"

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

The Vatican also took a dim view of Trump's anti-Muslim campaign rhetoric, although he softened his tone considerably in a major speech in Riyadh.

Melania, who is a Catholic, and daughter Ivanka were both dressed all in black with lace veils, in keeping with traditional protocol that is no longer obligatory for visiting female dignitaries. "Trump can not stop the clean energy transition and should instead focus on accelerating it".

Trump's stance on these issues "violates the sanctity of life that people of all faiths and none hold so dear", said Maya Foa, director of the British judicial rights group Reprieve.

"He is something", Trump said.

But her staff confirmed later to AFP that she had appreciated Pope Francis had produced a custom-made joke for her benefit. He is also set to attend a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting in Brussels on May 25 and a G7 summit in Sicily on May 26 before returning to the U.S. Francis, in reference to then-candidate Trump's plan to build a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border, said: "A person who only thinks about building walls, wherever they may be, and not about building bridges, is not a Christian".

Francis and Trump's sparred through the media during the presidential election campaign but the United States leader had previously expressed his admiration for the pontiff.

Trump, the 13th president to visit the Vatican, also toured the Sistine Chapel.

"One offers peace of dialogue, the other security of arms", he said on Twitter, apparently referencing the $110 billion weapons deal the USA president concluded with Saudi Arabia days ago.

In public remarks on Monday, Netanyahu warned that "it will not be simple", but also expressed cautious optimism that "for the first time in many years and the first time in my lifetime, I see a real hope for change".

Others praised Trump for not covering up in Saudi Arabia, seeing the move as a nod to women's empowerment, which she promoted on the trip.