Pope Francis has warned people about Donald Trump before, but now that the former reality star has officially been sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, the pontiff is ramping up his warnings to Americans – and he’s just made a terrifying comparison.
Many people have described Trump’s inauguration speech as populist, and on Saturday the pope only validated those remarks. The pope not only warned Americans against populism, but said that such attitudes were responsible for the election of “saviors” like Nazi Germany’s Adolf Hitler, whom Trump has been compared to numerous times before.
Pope Francis made these comments during an interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais. During the interview, the pope also slammed Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall and his passion for excluding foreigners with vicious practices like barbed wire. Stating that “crisis provokes fears and worries”, the pope used the example of “populism in the European sense of the word is Germany in 1933”. In a haunting statement that sounds much like how Trump got elected, he said:
“Germany … was looking for a leader, someone who would give her back her identity and there was a little man named Adolf Hitler who said ‘I can do it’. Hitler did not steal power. He was elected by his people and then he destroyed his people.”
Hmm…some of that sounds awfully familiar.
Pope Francis said that “the case of Germany is classic” and that Hitler had given his supporters a “deformed identity and we know what it produced.” Although the pope didn’t seem to have much faith in Trump’s ability to actually be a good person and lead America to progress, he said:
“Let’s see. Let’s see what he does and then we will evaluate.”
The pope has issued criticism on Trump before, and it was just as brilliant. Last February, Pope Francis said:
“A person who thinks only about building walls – wherever they may be – and not building bridges, is not Christian … I’d just say that this man is not Christian if he said it this way.”