Trump offered U.S. assistance to fund Italy’s public debt: report

Trump offered U.S. assistance to fund Italy’s public debt: report

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: I hope voters pay attention to Dem tactics amid Kavanaugh fight South Korea leader: North Korea agrees to take steps toward denuclearization Graham calls handling of Kavanaugh allegations 'a drive-by shooting' MORE offered to assist Italy's prime minister in funding the country's public debt by having the U.S. buy Italian sovereign bonds, according to a news report.

An Italian newspaper reports that Trump made the offer during a meeting with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in Washington earlier this year, though it was unclear exactly how the U.S. would purchase the bonds, according to CNBC.

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Financial analyst Christopher Wood told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera that Trump's goal in offering to finance Italy's debt, which CNBC reports investors are fleeing as it surpasses 130 percent of the country's GDP, is to foment divisions between Italy and the European Union.

"Trump could not have made it more clear that he supports the cause of those in Italy who want to leave the euro," Wood said.

Officials in Rome are desperate to find new investors, the Italian newspaper reported, suggesting that a possible deal could be on the horizon.

Conte and Trump met at the White House in July and held a joint press conference. A month earlier, Conte had backed Trump's call to readmit Russia to the G-7.

Trump and Conte have a warm relationship, a rarity for Trump among European leaders. The U.S. and EU have clashed in recent months on issues such as immigration and trade.

Conte's government, which formed at the beginning of June, is seen as a right-wing populist movement in the country.