Pope Francis attacks Trump saying he would tell president to his face that his wall is wrong as he blasts family separations at the Mexico border
Pope Francis said he would tell President Donald Trump to his face that the southern border wall and family separation policies are ‘cruel.‘
The current pope, who is Argentinian, has clashed with Trump on several occasions over illegal immigration and migrant issues.
‘I don‘t know what‘s happening with this new culture of defending territories by building walls. We already knew one, that (one) in Berlin, which brought so many headaches and so much suffering,‘ the Pope said in an interview with Mexico‘s Televisa, which aired Tuesday.
He said the Trump administration‘s zero-tolerance immigration policies, and the push to build a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, is ‘very sad.‘
‘Separating children from their parents goes against natural law, and those Christians … you can‘t do it. It is cruel. It is among the greatest of cruelties. And to defend what? Territory, or the economy of a country or who knows what,‘ Francis continued.
The pope said he would tell Trump the same exact thing if they were sitting across from each other.
‘The same. The same because I say it publicly,‘ Francis told Vatican reporter Valentina Alazraki, who is Mexican. ‘I have even said that those who build walls end up being prisoners of the walls they build.‘
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Trump met with the 266th pope at the Vatican in 2017.
The president has declared a humanitarian crisis at the southern border after he failed to reach an agreement with Democrats on wall funding. He says the wall is needed to address a crisis of illegal immigration, human trafficking, drugs and crime flowing across the border into the United States.
He continues to clash with the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives and some judges on how to fund it, and recently has redirected millions in Defense Department funds to construction of miles of border wall.
The Trump administration implemented a zero-tolerance illegal immigration stance that increased the amount of children being separated from their parents when illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.
Trump later reversed the policy after widespread outcry, and last month, his administration denied media reports that his administration was considering reinstating the policy.
There are no future plans for Trump and the pope to meet again.
Francis was also asked about a group of ultra-conservatives who earlier this month began a signature campaign urging bishops to denounce him as a heretic over a range of topics from communion for the divorced to religious diversity.
Francis said he did not feel hurt and took it ‘with a sense of humor,‘ adding, ‘I pray for them because they are wrong, and, poor people, some of them are being manipulated.‘