In return, Trump released a statement blasting Francis:
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. ISIS would have been eradicated unlike what is happening now with our all talk, no action politicians.
The Mexican government and its leadership has made many disparaging remarks about me to the Pope, because they want to continue to rip off the United States, both on trade and at the border, and they understand I am totally wise to them. The Pope only heard one side of the story – he didn’t see the crime, the drug trafficking and the negative economic impact the current policies have on the United States. He doesn’t see how Mexican leadership is outsmarting President Obama and our leadership in every aspect of negotiation.
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. [Mexican leaders] are using the Pope as a pawn and they should be ashamed of themselves for doing so, especially when so many lives are involved and when illegal immigration is so rampant.
Trump’s statement seems to conflict with his own past of questioning the religious faith of rivals Ted Cruz and Ben Carson. He has also suggested in the past that President Obama isn’t a Christian but a Muslim:
“He doesn’t have a birth certificate. He may have one, but there’s something on that, maybe religion, maybe it says he is a Muslim,” Trump told Fox News in 2011. “I don’t know. Maybe he doesn’t want that.”
In an interview earlier today on Breitbart News Daily, Trump said, “I love the pope,” but added that he thinks the pontiff is being played by Mexican officials who don’t want him to see how they are sending criminals into the U.S.