Trump becomes first sitting US president to visit Western Wall

President Donald Trump placed a note in the Western Wall on Monday, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to visit one of Judaism's holiest sites.

The historic visit is part of Trump's efforts to highlight "the need for unity among three of the world's great religions" on his first foreign trip, senior administration officials said. Trump's stop at the Western Wall came between Sunday's visit to Saudi Arabia where he called on Muslim leaders to "drive out the terrorists and extremists," and his forthcoming visit with Pope Francis at the Vatican.

Trump, joined by First Lady Melania Trump, daughter Ivanka Trump, and son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, visited the the Church of the Holy Sepulchre before the Western Wall.

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President Donald Trump arrives in Israel
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive aboard Air Force One at Ben Gurion International Airport in Lod near Tel Aviv, Israel May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive aboard Air Force One at Ben Gurion International Airport in Lod near Tel Aviv, Israel May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive aboard Air Force One at Ben Gurion International Airport in Lod near Tel Aviv, Israel May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv on May 22, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and his wife Sara await U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump's arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport in Lod near Tel Aviv, Israel May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L), his wife Sara (2nd L) and David Friedman (3rd L), the new United States Ambassador to Israel, await U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump's arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport in Lod near Tel Aviv, Israel May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
Members of honor guard in formation wait to begin the welcoming ceremony for U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump's departure from Air Force One at Ben Gurion International Airport in Lod near Tel Aviv, Israel May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
Members of honor guard in formation wait to begin the welcoming ceremony for U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump's departure from Air Force One at Ben Gurion International Airport in Lod near Tel Aviv, Israel May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
U.S. President Donald Trump (C) is greeted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's wife Sara upon his arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport in Lod near Tel Aviv, Israel May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin (L) welcomes US President Donald Trump (C) and First Lady Melania Trump (R) as they take part in a welcome ceremony upon their arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv on May 22, 2017, during part of his first trip overseas. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin (L) welcomes US President Donald Trump (C) during a welcome ceremony upon his arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv on May 22, 2017, as part of his first trip overseas. / AFP PHOTO / Jack GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump (2nd L) walks with Israel's President Reuven Rivlin (R) upon his arrival aboard Air Force One at Ben Gurion International Airport in Lod near Tel Aviv, Israel May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
U.S. President Donald Trump (2nd L) and first lady Melania Trump (3rd L) walk with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (2nd R), his wife Sara (R) and David Friedman (Center back), the new United States Ambassador to Israel, upon their arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport in Lod near Tel Aviv, Israel May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Amir Cohen TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and US President Donald Trump speak upon the latter's arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv on May 22, 2017, as part of his first trip overseas. / AFP PHOTO / Jack GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump (C) sits next to Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and Israel'sPresident Reuven Rivlin during a welcoming ceremony to welcome Trump at Ben Gurion International Airport in Lod near Tel Aviv, Israel May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
U.S. President Donald Trump (C) shakes hands with Israel's President Reuven Rivlin as Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ( R) claps hands during a welcoming ceremony to welcome Trump at Ben Gurion International Airport in Lod near Tel Aviv, Israel May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
US President Donald Trump speaks during a welcome ceremony upon his arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv on May 22, 2017, as part of his first trip overseas. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump (C) gives a speech during a welcome ceremony upon his arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv on May 22, 2017, as part of his first trip overseas. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. First Lady Melania Trump (seated, L) chats wife Sara Netanyahu (seated, front) as U.S. President Donald Trump (C) chats to Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) during a welcoming ceremony to welcome Trump at Ben Gurion International Airport in Lod near Tel Aviv, Israel May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump (6th R) shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (5th R) upon his arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport in Lod near Tel Aviv, Israel May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
U.S. first lady Melania Trump attends a welcoming ceremony upon her arrival together with U.S. President Donald Trump at Ben Gurion International Airport in Lod near Tel Aviv, Israel May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
Members of the Israeli security forces patrol the area near the King David Hotel where U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to stay during his visit, in Jerusalem May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Avishag Shar-Yashuv
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men walk on a pavement as members of the media and Israeli security forces work nearby, in the area near the King David Hotel where U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to stay during his visit, in Jerusalem May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Avishag Shar-Yashuv
Security guards patrol near Israeli and American flags as they wait for the expected arrival of U.S. President Donald Trump at Ben Gurion International Airport in Lod near Tel Aviv, Israel May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
U.S. President Donald Trump (2ndL) looks at his wife Melania signing a guest book as Israeli President Reuven Rivlin (3rd L) and his wife Nechama (R) stand nearby at Rivlin's residence in Jerusalem May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Noam Moskowitz
U.S. President Donald Trump (2nd L) shakes hands, after signing the guest book, with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin (2nd R) with his wife Nechama Reuven (R) and first lady Melania Trump (L), in Jerusalem May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Noam Moskowitz
U.S. President Donald Trump (L) sits next to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin during their meeting in Jerusalem May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Israeli President Reuben Rivlin (L) gestures as he sits next to U.S. President Donald Trump during their meeting at Rivlin� residence in Jerusalem May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump (2nd L) signs the guest book, with first lady Melania Trump (L), Israeli President Reuven Rivlin (2nd R) his wife Nechama Reuven (R) in Jerusalem May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Noam Moskowitz
U.S. President Donald Trump gestures during his meeting with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin at Rivlin?s residence in Jerusalem May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Atef Safadi/Pool
U.S. President Donald Trump delivers a few remarks to reporters before his meeting with Israel� President Reuven Rivlin at Rivlin� residence in Jerusalem May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump ( L) stands on a podium next to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, in Jerusalem May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump ( L) stands on a podium next to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, in Jerusalem May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
US President Donald Trump listens to Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch (C) during a visit to the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray, in Jerusalems Old City on May 22, 2017. On the left, Trump's son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump visits the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray, in Jerusalems Old City on May 22, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump (C) stands next to Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz at the plaza in front of the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest prayer site, in Jerusalem's Old City May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
US President Donald Trump visits the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray, in Jerusalems Old City on May 22, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump visits the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray, in Jerusalems Old City on May 22, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / RONEN ZVULUN (Photo credit should read RONEN ZVULUN/AFP/Getty Images)
Ivanka Trump, the daughter of US President Donald Trump, visits the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray, in Jerusalems Old City on May 22, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / RONEN ZVULUN (Photo credit should read RONEN ZVULUN/AFP/Getty Images)
Ivanka Trump (L), the daughter of US President Donald Trump, is seen during a visit to the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray, in Jerusalems Old City on May 22, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / RONEN ZVULUN (Photo credit should read RONEN ZVULUN/AFP/Getty Images)
Ivanka Trump, the daughter of US President Donald Trump, is seen during a visit to the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray, in Jerusalems Old City on May 22, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Ivanka Trump, the daughter of US President Donald Trump, visits the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray, in Jerusalems Old City on May 22, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / RONEN ZVULUN (Photo credit should read RONEN ZVULUN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump (C) and First Lady Melania Trump (L) tour the garden of the residency of Israel's President Reuven Rivlin (R) in Jerusalem on May 22, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump (C) stands next to Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz at the plaza in front of the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest prayer site, in Jerusalem's Old City May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun
U.S. President Donald Trump (2nd R) walks with Israel's President Reuven Rivlin (R) to review troops during a welcome ceremony at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump walk in a procession to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during their meeting at the presidential headquarters in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, May 23, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas extends his hand to shake hands with U.S. President Donald Trump during a joint news conference at the presidential headquarters in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, May 23, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman
A still image taken from video shows U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania attending a ceremony commemorating the six million Jews killed by the Nazis in the Holocaust, in the Hall of Remembrance at Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem May 23, 2017. Government Press Office via REUTERS TV ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS.
Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev presents U.S. President Donald Trump with a token of remembrance, an exact replica of the original Holocaust-era personal album that belonged to Ester Goldstein, who perished in the Holocaust, at Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem May 23, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania lay a wreath during a ceremony commemorating the six million Jews killed by the Nazis in the Holocaust, in the Hall of Remembrance at Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem May 23, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump holds the hand of Holocaust survivor Margot Goldstein, as first lady Melania Trump walks towards them, at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem May 23, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump participate in a wreath-laying at the Yad Vashem holocaust memorial in Jerusalem May 23, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania wave as they board Air Force One to travel to Rome from Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv, Israel May 23, 2017. REUTERS/
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The Western Wall is not officially recognized as Israeli territory, and the Trump administration has not been clear about whether they believe the holy site is part of Israel.

George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama each visited the Western Wall as private citizens or candidates. None of them was accompanied by an Israeli prime minister, and current Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu did not join Trump for his visit. The two leaders and their wives will have dinner at Netanyahu's residence Monday evening.

Trump's visit was complicated by reports that U.S. representatives told Israeli officials that Netanyahu should not join Trump because the wall "isn't your territory."

"This is in the West Bank. It is a private visit by the president, and it's not your business," a U.S. representative said, according to Israel's Channel Two News.

A White House spokesperson later clarified that the comments "do not reflect the U.S. position, and certainly not the president's position."

The Western Wall was part of the Second Jewish Temple, which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 C.E. It is also a significant site for Muslims because it is the site of the Dome of the Rock shrine and Al Aqsa mosque, where the Prophet Muhammad is believed to have ascended into heaven.

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