Trump responds to Pope Francis; calls him a ‘wonderful guy’

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Friday 4:00 p.m. – Trump responded to Friday to Pope Francis suggesting he was not a Christian.

According to CNN Politics, Trump shot back, calling the pontiff’s comments "disgraceful."

In a statement released Thursday on Trump’s presidential website, Trump called the pontiff’s comments, "disgraceful." 

"For a religious leader to question a person’s faith is disgraceful. I am proud to be a Christian and as President I will not allow Christianity to be consistently attacked and weakened, unlike what is happening now, with our current President. No leader, especially a religious leader, should have the right to question another man’s religion or faith." 

But in an interview Friday with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Trump said Pope Francis was a "wonderful guy" and blamed the day’s drama on the press.

"I don’t like fighting with the Pope," Trump said at a GOP town hall in South Carolina hosted by CNN. "I like his personality; I like what he represents."

"I don’t think this is a fight," Trump said. "I think he said something much softer than was originally reported by the media."

Thursday 3:00 p.m. – Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is now in a war of words with somebody you wouldn’t expect.

Trump isn’t taking on just another presidential candidate this time, he’s taking on the leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis.

Wednesday, Pope Francis visited Ciudad Juarez.

The city, just across the border from Texas, was once called, "the most dangers city" in the world.

While he was there, he held an open-air mass and prayed for Mexican migrants who died while trying to get to the United States.

The Pope also railed against immigration policies, describing them as the cause of a "human tragedy" that forces many underground and into the hands of drug gangs and human smugglers.

But it’s what Pope Francis said on his trip back to the Vatican that set Trump off.

The Pope was asked by a group of reporters about his opinion on Trump’s proposals to halt illegal immigration.

He responded by saying, "A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian."

He also had this to say.

"This is not in the gospel. As far as what you said about whether I would advise to vote or not vote, I am not going to get involved in that. I say only that this man is not a Christian if he has said things like that."

Trump immediately fired back at Pope Francis, saying, "for a religious leader to question a person’s faith is disgraceful. I’m proud to be a Christian and as president, I will not allow Christianity to be consistently attacked and weakened, unlike what is happening now with our current president."

Trump also had more to say during an appearance in Kiawah Island, South Carolina.

"If and when the Vatican is attacked by ISIS, which as everyone knows is ISIS’s ultimate trophy, I can promise you that the Pope would have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been President because this would not have happened."

There is, of course, an actual wall at our border. A 14-mile double fence that was built in the 1990’s. The advocates of building the wall, including former Congressman Duncan Hunter and the Border Patrol Agents’ Union said that the wall has had humanitarian impact. There are fewer crimes, no rampaging gangs, robbing and brutalizing migrants and a border that has been reclaimed economically. 

If the Pope knew that, they say, he might not have made his comments that have caused such a stir today.

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