NEW YORK, Feb. 12 (UPI) — Donald Trump criticized Pope Francis for a planned visit to Mexico next week, calling him a “very political person,” on a Fox News show Thursday.
GOP presidential front-runner Trump was being interviewed over the phone on Fox’s Varney & Company about various issues, including the pope’s upcoming visit to Mexico, where he is expected to go to the Rio Grande River, along the U.S. border.
“So I think that the pope is a very political person,” Trump said. “I think that he doesn’t understand the problems our country has. I don’t think he understands the danger of the open border that we have with Mexico.
“Mexico got him to do it,” he continued, “because Mexico wants to keep the border just the way it is because they’re making a fortune and we’re losing.”
Pope Francis is planning the visit to tour areas that have been the hardest hit by Mexico’s long-running war with the drug cartels.
“The Mexico of violence, the Mexico of corruption, the Mexico of drugs trafficking, the Mexico of cartels, is not the Mexico our Mother wants,” he said.
But as Trump tries to prove his religious bona fides to voters in the South, he criticized the pope for the second time in less than a year. Last summer Trump told CNN that if the pontiff ever lectured him on the evils of capitalism, he would tell him the Islamic State wants to invade the Vatican.