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Donald Trump responds to photo of 'panicked' Pope Francis and Joe Biden

Donald Trump responds to photo of 'panicked' Pope Francis and Joe Biden
Donald Trump responds to photo of 'panicked' Pope Francis and Joe Biden

 


Former President Donald Trump claimed Pope Francis was “freaked out” when he met with President Joe Biden on Friday.

The video shows Francis warmly greeting Biden and other world leaders on the sidelines of the Group of Seven summit in Italy. The Pope could be seen smiling as Biden leaned in to speak to him, their foreheads touching at one point.

But Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, used social media to suggest that Francis was uncomfortable with Biden moving so close to him.

“Look at the Pope, he's panicking! This can't be normal, can it?” Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform, alongside a photo of the two men with their foreheads close together.

U.S. President Joe Biden (R) greets Pope Francis during the second day of the G7 summit, June 14, 2024, in Fasano, Italy. Donald Trump claimed the pope was “freaking out” during the interaction. U.S. President Joe Biden (R) greets Pope Francis during the second day of the G7 summit, June 14, 2024, in Fasano, Italy. Donald Trump claimed the pope was “freaking out” during the interaction. Christophe Furlong/Getty Images

Newsweek has reached out to a Trump spokesperson and the White House for comment via email. The Vatican has also been contacted for comment by email.

A White House report on Biden's meeting with Francis said the president “thanked Pope Francis for the Vatican's work to address the humanitarian impacts of Russia's war of aggression in Ukraine, including its efforts to help return kidnapped Ukrainian children to their families.

He also “reaffirmed his deep appreciation for the Pope's tireless advocacy on behalf of the poor and those suffering from persecution, the effects of climate change and conflicts around the world,” the text said.

Biden has long enjoyed a friendly relationship with the pope, telling reporters after his last meeting with Francis in 2021 that they “talked about how he was happy that I was a good Catholic.”

Trump's comments come after he suggested that Biden, 81, should take a cognitive test in a speech Saturday night, moments before confusing the name of the doctor who administered the test to him during his presidency.

“He doesn't even know what the word 'inflation' means. I think he should take a cognitive test like I did,” Trump said of Biden during a speech at the Turning Point convention Action in Detroit.

“Doc Ronny Johnson. Does everyone know Ronny Johnson, congressman from Texas? He was the White House physician, and he said I was the healthiest president, according to him, of the story, so I really liked it immediately.”

Trump was referring to Rep. Ronny Jackson, who served as White House physician during part of Trump's presidency and is now a Republican congressman and one of the former president's most ardent supporters.

Trump, who turned 78 on Friday, regularly questioned Biden's mental acuity on the campaign trail, but his critics were quick to pounce on his gaffe, and Biden's campaign posted it on X , formerly Twitter, a few minutes later.

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