Donald Trump Honors Pope John Paul II Legacy During Polish President Visit

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 12: U.S. President Donald Trump (R) participates in a Polish-American reception with the President of Poland Andrzej Duda (C) and his wife Agata Kornhauser-Duda (L) in the East Room at the White House on June 12, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Mark Wilson/Getty

President Donald Trump honored the legacy of Pope John Paul II of Poland during a reception Wednesday for President Andrzej Duda at the White House.

“This month, we commemorate the 40th anniversary of Saint John Paul II’s first pilgrimage to his beloved homeland as Pope,” Trump said. “He loved Poland, right? That’s great.”

Trump recognized Jerzy Bogdziewicz, co-chair of the Polish-Americans for Trump committee at the reception, noting he grew up in Communist Poland and personally met with the Pope.

“Was that exciting, Jerzy, meeting with the Pope?” Trump asked. “More exciting than meeting with Trump, right?”

The crowd laughed when Bogdziewicz replied, “Yes.”

“He said, ‘Yes,'” Trump said with a grin. “I can’t believe it.”

Trump noted that Bogdziewicz joined the Solidarity Movement after the Pope’s visit to Poland and recognized their struggle against communism with the support of former President Ronald Reagan.

“We will never forget all that Poland has endured to win back its freedom,” Trump said. “The story of your nation will always inspire patriots all around the world.”

The speech from both presidents was steeped in the rich history of Polish and American opposition to Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia.

At the end of the speech, President Duda led the group of Polish Americans singing a “Stolat” to celebrate President Trump’s birthday.

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