Trump: Pope Francis 'a terrific person'
© Greg Nash
 
"I think he's a terrific person, frankly," Trump said of Francis during an interview with Fox News's Greta Van Susteren slated to air Friday night. 
 
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"But to me it's illegal immigration," he continued. "I don't think the pope really understood, in terms of the crime problem and the problems of illegal immigration."
 
A Vatican official on Friday sought to clarify the pontiff's widely reported criticism Thursday of Trump's plan to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, arguing it wasn't a "personal attack."
 
Asked about Trump, Francis told reporters aboard his airplane on Thursday that "a person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not of building bridges, is not Christian."
 
Trump, who has identified as a Presbyterian, slammed the comment as "disgraceful" before tempering his remarks at a CNN town hall later in the day, saying the pontiff has "a lot of personality."
 
An official for Francis said Friday that the pope "has clearly said he didn’t want to get involved in the electoral campaign" and made his comments about what he was told about the candidate.
 
The real estate mogul suggested afterward that he appreciated the Vatican walking back the remarks, telling Fox News, "The fact that he said that, I'm very honored by it."