Giuseppe Conte and Donald Trump meet at White House - Italianmedia

Posted August 02, 2018

Conte has "taken a very firm stance" on immigration, said Trump, who has pursued a "zero tolerance" policy at the United States border, a crackdown that led to hundreds of children being separated from parents who crossed into the country from Mexico without papers.

The president is eager to stress immigration during the fall election -and his own 2020 effort - believing it will fire up his base.

And Conte is describing the USA and Italy as "almost twin countries", adding: "There are so many things that bring us together". The president said the US and Italy would pursue a new strategic dialogue on security issues, terrorism and immigration.

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 U.S. leader, and the mixed results of predecessors offer a note of caution.

President Donald Trump is meeting with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte at the White House as the U.S.is kicking off new trade talks with the European Union. He emphasized that "we're both outsiders", and that each feels a responsibility to the citizens who elected them.

"He has taken a very firm stance on the border, a stance that few countries have taken", Trump said, addressing reporters. This was stated Monday by Prime Minister of Italy, Giuseppe Conte.

Conte stressed that the contract was agreed more than a decade ago, but vowed to proceed cautiously in a way that is "fully transparent with our partner, the Trump administration".

During the conference, Trump said "If we don't get border security after many, many years of talk within the United States I would have no problem doing a shutdown", reiterating a sentiment from a Twitter post this Sunday.

Both leaders however stressed that they were open to dialogue with Russian Federation.

"As far as a pipeline is concerned, I'd like to see a competing pipeline", said Trump who then addressed Conte.

Trump's standoff with Iran, and the sanctions that hurt Italian-Iranian commerce, are a big point of disagreement between the two countries. Mr. Trump also said he would be willing to meet with the Iranian prime minister to discuss the nuclear deal.

Senate Appropriations Committee chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are working to fund the government and that Trump's threat "is not good for anything".