Trump offers Pope Francis, Macron US help with Notre Dame

Trump offers Pope Francis, Macron US help with Notre Dame
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpFlorida GOP lawmaker says he's 'thinking' about impeachment Democrats introduce 'THUG Act' to block funding for G-7 at Trump resort Kurdish group PKK pens open letter rebuking Trump's comparison to ISIS MORE said Wednesday that he spoke on the phone with Pope FrancisPope FrancisLouisiana GOP bring in big names to block Democratic governor Pompeo, Pope Francis urge protections of religious freedom The Hill's Morning Report — Trump takes aim at whistleblower MORE and offered U.S. assistance in rebuilding Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral, as he did in an earlier conversation with French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronMacron urges EU to condemn Turkish invasion of Syria US should support, but also prod, Ukraine Civil liberties groups sound alarm over online extremism bill MORE.

“Just had a wonderful conversation with @Pontifex Francis offering condolences from the People of the United States for the horrible and destructive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral. I offered the help of our great experts on renovation and construction,” Trump tweeted.

Trump has weighed in multiple times on the fire that gutted the 12th century cathedral, provoked a worldwide outpouring of grief and dominated television news coverage for the past three days.

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He first offered firefighting advice, tweeting that “perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!”

French authorities rejected the idea, saying it could lead to the collapse of the entire cathedral. 

Later during a speech in Minnesota, Trump called the fire “a terrible scene” and lamented that a “truly great cathedral” was burning.

“They think it was caused by renovation. And I hope that's the reason. Renovation — you know, what's that all about? But it's a terrible sight to behold,” he said.

Macron has set an ambitious goal of rebuilding the cathedral, which suffered extensive damage and saw its spire collapse, within five years. French billionaires and philanthropists have already pledged more than $600 million to back the effort.