Asked about Trump, Pope says his concern is for politicians' impact on the poor

November 11, 2016 3:04 AM EST

Pope Francis waves at the end of his general audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini


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VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis declined to give a personal judgment on U.S. President-elect Donald Trump in an interview on Friday, saying he was interested only in the impact of politicians' choices on the poor.

Asked what he thought of the real estate mogul who won Tuesday's U.S. presidential election, the Argentine pontiff was quoted in Italian newspaper La Repubblica as saying: "I do not make judgments on people and political men, I only want to understand what suffering their behavior causes to the poor and the excluded."

Francis went on to say that his greatest concern at the moment is for refugees and migrants, declaring: "We must knock down the walls that divide."

Earlier this year, the pope suggested Trump's stance on immigration, which included a campaign pledge to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border to keep out illegal immigrants, was "not Christian".

A papal spokesman later said this was not a personal attack. The Vatican's highest-ranking diplomat wished Trump well in government on Wednesday, saying he would pray for the President-elect's "enlightenment".

(Reporting by Isla Binnie; Editing by Catherine Evans)



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