Pope Francis is really doubting the faith of countless numbers of Americans when he says Donald Trump is not a Christian for wanting to deport illegal immigrants and build a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border, Katrina Pierson, the billionaire developer's national spokesperson, tells Newsmax TV.
"A lot of people were surprised the Pope made the comments that he made, particularly in that he hasn't even met with Donald Trump and discussed some of these issues," Pierson said Thursday to J.D. Hayworth on "Newsmax Prime."
"So to be questioning his faith right now really was a surprise to a lot of people, particularly with regards to the border wall and immigration. The Pope actually inferred that all these people that support building a border wall to secure their country weren't actually Christian."
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The Pontiff made headlines when responding to reporters' questions about Trump and some of his more controversial statements, such as vowing to build a wall between the United States and Mexico if he becomes president.
"A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not in the gospel." Francis said.
But Pierson said the Pope's opinion will not hurt Trump's chances in Saturday's South Carolina primary — and in fact only highlights his core positions.
"Overwhelmingly, Republican primary voters support getting immigration under control, they support stopping illegal immigration and building a border wall. So I really don't think it's going to have any impact," Pierson said.
"What it did do is it highlighted that Donald Trump is the strongest when it comes to illegal immigration, at protecting this country, securing the southern border, and doing what's right for Americans.
"I mean, even the Vatican has a wall built around it, so a lot of people at first were very confused but for others it really solidified his position as the leader when it comes to immigration."
Pierson said she is not sure whether Trump, the Republican presidential frontrunner, will request to an audience with the Pope to talk things out.
"But I do think if you are a religious leader and you're going to question or call into question someone's faith, you probably should have sat with them and asked them questions," she said.
"We have seen that happen with someone like Jerry Falwell, Jr. who knows Mr. Trump well, who supports him in this campaign, and speaks very highly of Mr. Trump's faith. So I don't see that happening any time soon. But again, I think what this has done is solidify Donald Trump as the leader when it comes to immigration and border security."
Earlier in the day, Trump predicted the Pontiff would regret his words "if and when" the Islamic State (ISIS) attempts to attack The Vatican.
"They want to get to the Vatican," Trump said. "So if and when the Vatican is attacked by ISIS, which as everyone knows is ISIS' ultimate trophy, I can promise you that the Pope would have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been president."
He also said it was ‘'disgraceful'' for a religious leader to question anyone's faith.
Pierson backs Trump has remained consistent in his views immigration.
"I think we can all go back to when Mr. Trump entered this race, specifically talking about immigration, ISIS, Muslim refugees, Syrian refugees, and he has been the most outspoken on this because he will be the strongest when it comes to building up the military and stomping out ISIS," she said.
"We have Christians being beheaded all over the world and a lot of the people, including the Pope, are talking about climate change…. Not only do we have Barack Obama, but now we have the Pope … really pushing taking in Muslim refugees, pushing not having a border wall, having open borders essentially, both taking on Mr. Trump."
She said that is "clear indicator" that Trump is not the candidate either the Pope or Obama want as the Republican GOP nominee.
Pierson said the Pope's attack comes out as a "net positive" for Trump, whose outspoken views have "kept him at the top of the polls" in the Republican primary.
"We will not be able to achieve anything unless we deal with illegal immigration and border security because everything is beholden upon that. As Mr. Trump says, without borders, we don't have a nation," she said.
"We see right now with all these other politicians who are bought and paid for by global banks and transnational corporations, they're not going to do what needs to be done for the American people.
"They're going to continue to push the same agenda that we've had like these horrible trade deals, which are worse than NAFTA, by the way, and that eliminated a third of the manufacturing jobs in South Carolina…. Mr. Trump has his thumb on the heartbeat of Americans, which is why he has so much support from a broad spectrum on a Republican side that we have not seen in a very long time."
Pierson also defended a tweet she sent out
in 2011 that read: "Just saw a commercial from Catholic Church stating that Catholic Church was started by Jesus. I bet they believe that too."
"That that was during a time when I was actually fighting alongside Catholics against Twitter trolls going against Catholics. There was a lot of sarcasm going on there. When you're an activist, that's what you do when you fight back against liberals who are attacking Christians," she said, insisting it was in no way a comment about the Pope.
"No's even asked about the context of that tweet. This was from 2012 when I was fighting alongside Catholics, supporting Catholics presidential candidates against Catholic Twitter trolls. But this is what happens in politics, it's silly season, they pull things out of context and try to create their own narrative."
But Bill Donohue, president of the New York-based Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, believes Pierson should say she's sorry.
"Pierson needs to apologize to Catholics for making such a snide remark," Donohue said recently. "We would also like to hear assurances from Donald Trump that he will not tolerate anti-Catholicism in his campaign."
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