As Melania shook hands with the pope during the visit, Pope Francis said in Spanish through his interpreter pointing toward Trump, “What do you give him to eat?! Potica?”
“Potica, yes,” the Slovenian-born first lady said with a laugh before stepping aside.
The pontiff was referring to a sweet bread usually filled with nuts (but can also include poppyseed, cottage cheese, hazelnut, chocolate, honey or other ingredients) from her homeland — and not “pizza,” as some onlookers mistakenly heard.
One of the pope’s attendants also gave Melania a small object, which she had Pope Francis bless.
The president’s eating habits have been the talk of Twitter before, notably when Trump shared a photo of himself using silverware to eat an eight-piece bucket meal from KFC with a side of mashed potatoes and gravy. He’s also known to eat two scoops of ice cream during dessert, while his guests receive just one.
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During a September interview with Dr. Mehmet Oz, a health exam from a doctor showed that Trump is overweight for his height at 6’3″ and 236 pounds.
“I think I could lose a little weight,” Trump admitted. “I’ve always been a little bit this way. I think that if I had one thing, I’d like to lose weight. It’s tough because of the way I live. But the one thing I would like to do is be able to drop 15 to 20 pounds. It would be good.”
Despite the joking exchange with the first lady, onlookers described the meeting between Pope Francis and the president as “stiff.” In the first minutes of the meeting, the pope did not say anything to Trump and did not smile.
Melania and First Daughter Ivanka strictly stuck to the dress code, wearing long-sleeved black dresses and veils for the visit to the Vatican — just days after they ditched headscarves in Saudi Arabia.
“Per Vatican protocol, women who have an audience with the pope are required to wear long sleeves, formal black clothing, and a veil to cover the head,” Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s communications director, told CNN.