Subject: WH Pool Report 3a
Before the meeting, POTUS walked through the center of Clementine Hall, a large ante-room on the way to where he was to meet the Pope. POTUS proceeded past a dozen members of the Swiss Guard, standing at attention in their
traditional purple and gold striped uniforms with helmets that have
bright red plumes. The uniforms were designed by Michelangelo.
The procession marched slowly past. POTUS was escorted by Archbishop
Georg Ganswein. Behind him was Secretary of State John Kerry. And
further behind was several members of the White House staff, including
Carney, Rhodes, Rice, Pfeiffer, Mastromanaco. The two women both wore
mantilla–shoulder-length head scarfs.
The president walked slowly and solemnly through the hallways of the Apostolic Palace. The Papal Gentleman walked ahead of the president, stepping slowly and deliberately in sync.
The president nodded at the press as he passed. A small contingent of American and Vatican-credentialed reporters stood to the side, clicking their cameras.
The president then entered the Small Throne Room, where the greeting by the pope was quick but appeared warm. After a handshake, they headed into the Papal Library, a vast room with a desk to one side and large chairs assembled in a square on the other. Interpreters took seats next to them.
The pope and the president continued to offer greetings as they sat down at the desk. The click of the cameras were quite loud, making it hard to hear their exchanges, though the pool was able to listen back to a recording by an AP Rome correspondent. (see previous pool report for quotes)
The meeting started at 10:27 am. Pool is waiting in a room next door.