Donald Trump, the front-runner Republican primary presidential candidate, took some swings at Pope Francis on Friday, calling the pontiff a “political” individual who understands little of America’s problems.
He made the comments in reference to the pope’s planned rally at the U.S.-Mexico border to show solidarity with migrants.
“I think he doesn’t understand the problems our country has,” Trump said, during an interview on “Varney & Co.” on Fox Business. “I don’t think he understands the danger of the open border that we have with Mexico and I think Mexico got him to do it. Because Mexico wants to keep the border just the way it is because they are making a fortune and we are losing.”
Trump’s been complimentary of the pope in the past. But he’s been lately making statements that strike a more warning tone of the pontiff’s visions of open borders, and how that view puts America in the crosshairs of terrorists.
“You know that ISIS wants to go in and take over the Vatican? You have heard that,” Trump said, referring to previous videotaped warnings from the terror group to attack the pope and fly the ISIS flag in Vatican City. “You know, that’s a dream of theirs, to go into Italy.”
Pope Francis has come under increasing fire from conservatives in recent months, not just because of his views on immigration and his press for more nations, including the United States, to embrace more immigrants, but also for his criticisms of capitalism and his worldwide call for climate-change policy.