Vatican newspaper: Trump comments ‘harsh and offensive’
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The Vatican's official newspaper on Friday ripped President TrumpDonald John TrumpCorker: US must determine responsibility in Saudi journalist's death Five takeaways from testy Heller-Rosen debate in Nevada Dem senator calls for US action after 'preposterous' Saudi explanation 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 DurbinSenate Dems ask Trump to disclose financial ties to Saudi Arabia Trump officials ratchet up drug pricing fight GOP senators: Mnuchin should not go to Saudi Arabia 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 RyanMeghan McCain calls Russian attacks against her father the 'highest compliment' to her family Atheist group argues in court for prayer rights on House floor Small-dollar donations explode in the Trump era 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.