Vatican newspaper: Trump comments ‘harsh and offensive’
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The Vatican's official newspaper on Friday ripped President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump warns Iran's Rouhani: Threaten us 'and you will suffer' Pompeo: Iran's leaders resemble the mafia NYT's Haberman: Trump 'often tells the truth' MORE's reported reference to some nations as "shithole countries," calling the remarks "particularly harsh and offensive." 

L‘Osservatore Romano did not use the term "shithole" in the piece but said Trump's comments caused “controversy and indignation," according to Reuters.

Trump's remarks were reportedly included in a front-page article on immigration reform.

Pope Francis has repeatedly called for open borders and has promoted the rights of migrants and refugees.

The head of the Roman Catholic Church and the president have clashed over immigration in the past.

Francis said last year that Trump is “not Christian” if he wants to build the border wall. Trump responded, calling Francis’s comments “disgraceful."

The Washington Post reported on Thursday that Trump had made the controversial comments during an Oval Office meeting with lawmakers on immigration reform. 

The president denied making the comments in a tweet on Friday, however, Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinChicago detention facility under investigation following allegations of abuse of migrant children Senate approves resolution warning Trump not to hand over US officials Deal to fix family separations hits snag in the Senate MORE (D-Ill.) confirmed the comments on Friday.

The comments sparked backlash across Washington on Thursday evening and throughout Friday.

House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPelosi: 'Thug' Putin not welcome in Congress Interior fast tracks study of drilling's Arctic impact: report Dems unveil slate of measures to ratchet up pressure on Russia MORE (R-Wis.) on Friday called the comments "very unfortunate" and "unhelpful."

Southern Baptist Pastor Robert Jeffress defended Trump's comments on Friday, saying the president was "right on target" when he made the remarks.