Trump again threatens to shut down USA government over immigration policy

Trump says at the start of his meeting with Italy's Giuseppe Conte at the White House that Italy "has taken a very firm stance on the border".

Trump also zeroed in his attacks on Iran, but also stressed he would have no problem meeting the country's leaders with "no preconditions" and "any time they want".

The two men also share the same scepticism over free trade, although Conte's distrust of multinational agreements risks Trump's goal of eliminating all European Union customs tariffs.

Earlier Monday, during the leaders' Oval Office meeting, Mr. Trump commended Conte for Italy's immigration policies.

According to Nick Ottens of the Atlantic Council, Trump "may not find the ally he expects" in Conte.

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US President Donald Trump and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte arriving at the joint press conference today.

"We are going to discuss economic aspects, but also social aspects: the need for protection of civil rights; the problem of constitutional process - of issuing and passing laws so as to enable Libya, in particular, to get to democratic elections in a condition of the utmost stability", Conte said.

Conte has said his government would end "the immigration business". "I would meet with Iran if they wanted to meet", he said.

Trump touted the concept of "speaking to other people, especially when you're talking about potentials of war and death and starvation and lots of other things - you meet, there's nothing wrong with meeting". We had a great meeting. "I just want great border security".

President Donald Trump insisted USA sanctions on Russia will remain in place, after hailing the "great meeting" he had with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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Trump also described the Iran nuclear deal, which he pulled the U.S. out of in May, as "ridiculous" and a "waste of paper".

Conte believes a conference in Rome, backed by the United States, will help Rome establish itself as the major interlocutor for Libya's warring factions.

Meanwhile, in the defence realm, Italy has said it has no chance of reaching the target spending of two percent of GDP - let alone Trump's stated goal at the latest North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit of four percent.

He went on to single out Italy, adding: "And, by the way, Italy has a $31 billion surplus with the United States, meaning we have a $31 billion trade deficit with Italy".

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