Trump says Barr's meeting with Italian PM 'appropriate'

"I don't know the details. I just know that our country is looking into the corruption of the 2016 election," Trump, speaking at a joint news conference with Italian President Sergio Mattarella, said about the September meeting.

"I don't know anything about the meeting but certainly it would be appropriate because the word is - and you read it in the same papers that I do - that they did go to other countries to try and hide what they were doing," Trump said.

At the beginning of this month, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said he was not concerned about reports that U.S. Attorney General William Barr held secret meetings with Italian intelligence agencies, Conte's office said on Thursday.

Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported on Wednesday that Barr met with the intelligence services as part of an investigation by President Donald Trump's administration into the origins of the probe of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

"Prime Minister Conte sees no anomalous behavior on the part of our secret services," a statement from Conte's office said, adding that he would address a parliamentary committee for security about the reported meetings.

Without citing its sources, Corriere said Conte had authorized the two meetings in Rome with Gennaro Vecchione, head of the DIS intelligence service, as well as other officials, in August and last week.

A source close to the matter told Reuters on Thursday that Barr met with Italian intelligence officials in Rome on Sept. 27.

Barr, a Trump appointee who is the top U.S. law enforcement official, is personally involved in investigating Trump's complaints that he and his 2016 campaign were improperly targeted by U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies.