In Italy’s Conte, Trump sees a like-minded European

"The sanctions on Russian Federation will remain as is", Trump said during a joint news conference Monday alongside Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. "I believe in meeting".

Trump said of Iran, when asked by a reporter whether he would meet with President Hassan Rouhani to help ease tensions with that country, Trump replied "I'll meet with anyone", especially when issues of war and death are at stake.

But while Italian prime minister Mr Conte may be the closest on policy, he is but the latest in a series of European leaders who have courted the USA leader, and the mixed results of predecessors offer a note of caution.

The President was speaking alongside Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte Monday when he confirmed his administration was prepared for an all-out war with Congressional Democrats surrounding immigration along the US-Mexico border. This was stated Monday by Prime Minister of Italy, Giuseppe Conte. He emphasized that "we're both outsiders", and that each feels a responsibility to the citizens who elected them.

Trump did, however, find common ground with Conte on border security, crediting efforts to crack down on illegal immigration for both his own victory in 2016 and the election of Conte's government.

In response to a question about Trump's appearances at the G7 and NATO, Conte said: "I think that all [Trump's] positions and stances - which are expressed with clarity and provide a contribution in order to review well-established positions - are more than welcome".

"Italy is an important Nato Ally, a leading partner in Afghanistan and Iraq, and key in bringing stability to the Mediterranean region", the White House said in announcing the visit last month, the new prime minister's first.

Conte meanwhile spoke of the Italian government's "innovative approach" to "try to resolve the phenomenon of immigration" which he said was "in line with the position of President Trump".

But a certain point of disagreement will be Trump's standoff with Iran - and the sanctions that hurt Italian-Iranian commercial relations.

Speaking about the hostile relations between the USA and Iran, Mr Trump declared he would be still be willing to meet if Iran if "they wanted" to, despite escalating tensions between the two countries. Trump pointed to low unemployment and said he expects to have the vote of anyone with a growing retirement account.

  • Joey Payne