Donald Trump has softened his original response to remarks from Pope Francis, which questioned the politician’s Christianity, but has also pointed out that the Pope lives behind a wall of his own.
The feud started when the Pope, who had recently visited the U.S.-Mexico border, responded to a question about his view of Trump’s plan to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico to stop illegal immigration.
“A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian,” the Pope told reporters onboard the papal airliner. “This is not in the gospel.”
Trump responded by calling the Pope’s decision to attack his faith “disgraceful.”
“No leader, especially a religious leader, has the right to question another man’s religion or faith,” Trump said at a political event in South Carolina, according to The Guardian.
He also suggested that the Pope had been pressured by the Mexican government to make the comment.
“The pope said negative things about me because the Mexican government convinced him Trump is not a good guy,” Trump said, reported The Guardian. “The Mexican government has made many disparaging remarks about me to the pope because they want to continuing ripping us off.”
However, later that day, Trump took a less adversarial stance toward his disagreement with the Pope. In an interview with Anderson Cooper during a presidential town hall broadcast on Feb. 18, Trump said that he didn’t think the Pope’s remark was as critical as it had been made out to be.
“I think it was probably a little bit nicer statement than was reported by you folks in the media,” Trump said, according to Daily Mail.
At the same time, he called out the Pope for living behind what Trump called a “wall” of his own.
“He talked about [how] having a wall is not Christian … and he's got an awfully big wall at the Vatican, I will tell you,” Trump said, reported Daily Mail.