Vatican newspaper: Trump comments ‘harsh and offensive’
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The Vatican's official newspaper on Friday ripped President TrumpDonald John TrumpDems flip Wisconsin state Senate seat Sessions: 'We should be like Canada' in how we take in immigrants GOP rep: 'Sheet metal and garbage' everywhere in Haiti 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 DurbinMcCarthy: ‘No deadline on DACA’ Ex-Sheriff David Clarke: Trump only one who 'cares about black American citizens' DHS chief takes heat over Trump furor 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 RyanGOP leaders pitch children's health funding in plan to avert shutdown Lawmakers see shutdown’s odds rising Fix what we’ve got and make Medicare right this year 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.