President Trump today

By Veronica Rocha, Meg Wagner and Brian Ries, CNN

Updated 8:03 p.m. ET, July 30, 2018
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2:47 p.m. ET, July 30, 2018

Trump says he would meet with Iran without preconditions

From CNN's Jeremy Diamond

President Donald Trump said Monday he is willing to meet with Iran's leadership, without preconditions, "whenever they want."

"I would certainly meet with Iran if they wanted to meet," Trump said. "I do believe that they will probably end up wanting to meet. I’m ready to meet whenever they want to."

"No preconditions," he added. "They want to meet, I'll meet. Whenever they want."

Trump touted the benefits of diplomacy, saying he would "meet with anybody" and once again arguing that his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin -- which has faced heated bipartisan criticism -- was a success.

"Speaking to other people, especially when you’re talking about potentials of war and death and famine and lots of other things – you meet. There’s nothing wrong with meeting," Trump said.

While Trump said there would be no preconditions to meeting with Iran, he did appear to hedge the possibility of a meeting on an ability to "work something out that's meaningful" with Iran.

2:27 p.m. ET, July 30, 2018

Italian PM says he shares Trump’s call for increased NATO defense spending

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told a reporter that he shares President Trump's calls to rebalance defense spending of NATO member countries, calling them "reasonable positions" and said he would be "the carrier of the message" in Europe.

"These are absolutely reasonable positions and stances, and I personal take them into great account. And I will be personally the carrier of the message and I will try to make the others understand his position as well," he said.

Conte added, "We must negotiate with the United States to find balance in interest of Italian cities, American citizens, and European citizens."

2:25 p.m. ET, July 30, 2018

Trump: "I would have no problem doing a shutdown" over border security

President Trump, speaking at a news conference with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, again threatened to have a government shutdown if the US does not change its immigration laws.

"As far as the border is concerned, and personally, 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. It’s time we had proper border security. We’re the laughing stock of the we have the worst immigration laws anywhere in the world," he said.

The President tweeted a similar threat on Sunday.

Later, a reporter asked if there was "room for negotiation," or would Trump shut down the government if all of his demands were not met.

"I'll always leave room for negotiation," Trump said.

Watch more:

2:05 p.m. ET, July 30, 2018

NOW: Trump and Conte speak at press conference

You can watch live on CNNGo or by refreshing this page and viewing in the player up above.

1:56 p.m. ET, July 30, 2018

6 questions that could come up at Trump's news conference

Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Trump will take questions alongside Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte at a 2 p.m. ET news conference.

Here are a few questions reporters could ask the President:

  • Your lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said he's not sure collusion with Russia would be considered a crime. Do you agree with that analysis?
  • Your former attorney Michael Cohen claims you approved going ahead with the 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russia. Did you know about the meeting?
  • Yesterday, you fired off a series of tweets lashing out at the special counsel investigation led by former FBI Director Robert Mueller. Why exactly do you believe the Russia probe is an "illegal scam"?
  • The White House last week announced your next summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin won't happen until 2019. What's behind the delay?
  • You have threatened to push the government into a shutdown if Congress does not fund your border wall and change the US's immigration laws. What exact changes would need to see in order to avert a shutdown?
  • The monstrous Carr Fire in California has burned almost 100,000 acres. Do you have any plans to visit the area?
1:40 p.m. ET, July 30, 2018

Trump praises Italian leader's immigration policies: "You're doing the right thing"

From CNN’s Allie Malloy 

During a White House meeting with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, President Trump praised the Italian leader's immigration policies.

“I agree very much with respect to what you’re doing with migration, illegal immigration, and even legal immigration. He’s taken a very firm stance on the border, a stance that few countries have taken, and frankly you’re doing the right thing in my opinion. A lot of other countries in Europe should be doing it also," Trump said.

Trump also pointed out the $31 billion deficit between the two countries and said that he expected that to be “straightened” out “pretty quickly.”  

Trump did not answer any questions reporter shouted at him.

12:23 p.m. ET, July 30, 2018

Trump greets Italian Prime Minister at the White House

Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte just arrived at the White House, where he'll meet with President Trump.

The two leaders will hold a news conference around 2 p.m. ET.

12:19 p.m. ET, July 30, 2018

Trump tweets about immigration: "Keep building, but much faster, THE WALL!"

President Trump is tweeting this morning about immigration, urging the US to move toward a merit-based system and build his border wall even faster,

Here's the tweet:

It's a timely tweet: Trump's tweet on immigration came just an hour before he meets with Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. Conte and Trump have similar opinions on immigration: The Italian leader took leadership of the government after campaigning on a populist, anti-immigration platform -- so they have that in common.

On Sunday, Trump threatened to push the government into a shutdown ahead of the coming spending deadline in September if Congress does not fund his border wall and change the nation's immigration laws.

"I would be willing to 'shut down' government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall! Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc. and finally go to system of Immigration based on MERIT! We need great people coming into our Country!" Trump tweeted.
11:53 a.m. ET, July 30, 2018

Trump's meeting with a like-minded leader today

President Trump will host Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte at the White House this afternoon.

Conte and Trump have expressed shared views on several policy areas, including closing their respective borders to migrants and taking a friendlier stance toward Russia.

Watch more: