Trump Downplays Pope’s Criticism of His Immigration Policy
Donald Trump appears to be backing away from his response to Pope Francis' criticism of Trump's immigration policy heading into Saturday's U.S. Republican presidential primary election in (the southeastern state of) South Carolina.
After visiting Mexico, Pope Francis criticized Trump, saying he "is not Christian" because of his proposal to build a massive wall on the southern U.S. border with Mexico to keep out migrants headed to the United States.
During a town hall discussion Thursday night in South Carolina, Trump suggested Pope Francis' comments may have been overblown.
"I don't like fighting with the pope, actually. I don't think this is a fight. I think he said something much softer than was originally reported by the media. I think that he heard one side of the story, which is probably by the Mexican government. He didn't see the tremendous strain that you know the border is causing us with respect to illegal immigration, with the drugs pouring across the border...."
Some of Trump's challengers expressed support for the pope.
But others mostly said the matter is between Pope Francis and Trump.
Airstrike in Western Libya Kills 40
An airstrike in western Libya near the country's border with Tunisia killed at least 40 people early Friday, according to local officials.
The strike destroyed a building in the town of Sabratha, west of Tripoli, in a region known to have an Islamic State presence.
The New York Times reported that U.S. warplanes struck an Islamic State camp in Sabratha early Friday, killing more than 30 recruits.
The paper quoted a Western official as saying the target was a "senior Tunisian operative" linked to two major terrorist attacks in Tunisia last year.
A Pentagon spokesperson told VOA he is aware of the report, and is checking into it, but said he has "no info to pass along at this time."