President Donald Trump arrived at the Vatican for the third stop of his first foreign trip while in office and was received by Pope Francis. The Meeting appeared to be stiff and strained, which is understandable considering the sharp exchanges the two men have had over immigration. But the mood brightened considerably when the two men exchanged gifts, according to the Washington Examiner.

The president and the pope met in private in the latter’s private study. Witnesses suggest that Pope Francis was “stone faced” which the media was let in after the conversation.

Some surmise that the conservation focused on immigration, an issue on which the two have decidedly different views.

The president and the pope have clashed on immigration

Pope Francis has, in the past, attacked President Trump’s stance on immigration, suggesting that anyone who focuses on building walls and not bridges is not a Christian. Trump had responded with his characteristic anger that for a religious leader to call into question his faith was “disgraceful.” The president also suggested that the pope had not considered his arguments for restricting immigration in the United States, such as how crime, drug trafficking, and economic degradation, caused by unrestricted immigration in his view, need addressing.

The mood brightens when gifts are exchanged

However, when President Trump presented the pope with an original bronze statue and a first edition, signed complete works of Dr. Martin Luther King, the mood lightened. The pope responded with a number of signed documents, Amoris Laetitia, Evangelii Gaudium and Laudato Si' as well as this year's World Day of Peace message about nonviolence.

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Both men expressed appreciation of the other’s gifts.

Diplomatic mission accomplished?

President Trump was likely not able to win Pope Francis over, at least entirely, to his views on immigration. But, at least in the area of optics, he seems to have won the day. He was seen being received by the leader of one of the largest Christian denominations on the planet and taken with all seriousness.

He was also seen behaving with all due diplomatic decorum, contrary to expectation by many of his political enemies. On top of successful stops in Saudi Arabia and Israel, President Trump has fulfilled, President Trump has fulfilled his goal of being taken seriously on the world stage. Next, comes meetings with the Italian president and prime minister, a NATO meeting in Brussels, then a G7 meeting in Sicily. Trump will return home, still at the center of multiple scandals, with some much needed foreign street cred.