Trump tones down reaction to pope’s criticism

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures as a protestor is removed from the arena during a campaign stop at the Tsongas Center in Lowell, Mass., Monday, Jan. 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Donald Trump is softening his rhetoric on Pope Francis after blasting the leader of the Catholic Church for suggesting the billionaire businessman’s plan to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border made him “not Christian.”

Trump said during a town hall event on CNN that he now believes the pope’s remarks were “probably a little bit nicer” than first reported.

Trump says he believes the pope has only heard one side of the story, as told by the Mexican government, and isn’t aware of the problems Trump claims are caused by a porous border.

Trump also says he has great respect for Pope Francis. Still, he couldn’t help but offer a dig, noting that, “He’s got an awfully big wall at the Vatican.”

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