The CNN story notes that while senior White House officials claimed the Vatican is strict on admittance into its talks, "previous administration officials who helped orchestrate meetings between U.S. presidents and the Pope said that high-level Catholic staffers who expressed interest in attending the papal sessions were regularly accommodated". Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters that the president and the pontiff had "pretty extensive conversations" about terrorist threats and the radicalization of young people, in a meeting that went longer than scheduled.
Before the door of the wood-lined elevator closed, a Vatican protocol official was heard quipping to the president that it was not "like Trump Tower in New York".
"The president indicated we're still thinking about that, that he hasn't made a final decision".
Known for his kind and gentle nature, Pope Francis has expressed criticism of Trump about his controversial policies.
The Pope had been pretty unequivocal in his views on Trump before their meeting, saying he was "not Christian" over his plans for a US-Mexico border wall. A few key communications aides were also present at the meeting, including spokeswoman Hope Hicks and social media director Dan Scavino, according to Politico.
While Trump flashed a wide grin, the Pope offered only a modest smile - his demeanor, business-like.
The two men - both of whom stunned the world by their rise to the pinnacle of power - could not be more different in their core beliefs, nor similar in their unpredictability. As he once said: "A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian".
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It could have just been an off night for him, because believe it or not, that can happen to everyone. They played well, but weve just got to play better, be more physical..
Mrs. Trump had asked the pope to bless a religious item, Pentin wrote, likely a rosary.
There was never an apology in either direction. "Through dialogue we build peace, taking care of everyone".
As the two men allowed the cameras back into the room as their first in-person encounter wrapped on Tuesday, the mood appeared to have lightened.
It is now known yet what are the gifts Trump and Francis exchanged.
"This is a gift for you". These are books from Martin Luther King.
Wednesday's meeting also included an exchange between Francis and the first lady, who wore a veil in accordance with Vatican tradition.
Trump responded, "Well, I'll be reading them".
Pope Francis also gave Trump this year's "message of peace" with a personalized inscription he had written.