Republican presidential candidate and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee says reports that Pope Francis regrets meeting with Kentucky clerk Kim Davis in Washington D.C. last week were surprising and "coming out of left field," citing his own conversations with Davis' attorney.
"Yeah, that's very interesting because that seems to be coming out of left field. Here's why: I talked to Mat Staver, Kim Davis' attorney," Huckabee said on NewsMaxTV Friday.
"He confirmed with me just this morning, the Vatican invited Kim Davis and it was a private meeting," he said. "It wasn't that she was in a long line of people who just went by and shook hands. It was a private meeting with no one but she, her husband and the pope and one of his personnel."
A Vatican official told Reuters there was "a sense of regret" the Pope met with Davis, who became a national news figure after she refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, citing religious freedom.
In a statement, the Vatican said the Pope didn't talk about the details of Davis' situation and the meeting wasn't an endorsement of her refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
"The Pope did not enter into the details of the situation of Mrs. Davis and his meeting with her should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects," the Vatican said in a statement.
Huckabee said the Vatican sent a car to take her to embassy.
"In addition to that, they sent a car to come pick her up and take her over to the Vatican embassy," he added. "He affirmed with her, her right to religious liberty. And then on an airplane between Philadelphia and Rome he told ABC's Terry Moran that he believed that religious liberty was a human right that transcended all law."
"So, you know, I don't know what this spokesperson said, but I know what the pope said to Terry Moran and I don't think Terry Moran is out there trying to shill for Kim Davis."