GOP frontrunner Donald Trump met with Matteo Salvini, leader of Italy’s nationalist Lega Nord party, Monday during a rally in Pennsylvania.
Trump and Salvini met for 20 minutes after a Trump rally in Wilkes-Barre. The two discussed the European migrant crisis and tighter border controls.
Trump reportedly thanked Salvini for his support and wished him best of luck in becoming prime minister.
“Matteo, I hope you become prime minister soon,” Trump said, according Italian news agency ANSA.
Lega Nord was founded in 1991 to fight for independence of Italy’s northern regions. Salvini has turned the party’s focus to stopping immigration and Islamization of Europe, but continues to fight for larger autonomy of Italy’s northern region.
Salvini made the trip to Philadelphia the day that Italy celebrates Liberation Day. April of 1945 marked the fall of Benito Mussolini’s Italian Social Republic and the end of Italy’s Nazi occupation.
As recently as February, Salvini praised Mussolini for doing “so many good things” before teaming up with Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler in World War II. Salvini is particularly found of Mussolini’s pension reforms.
Salvini posted a series of tweets from the rally. He bashed Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi for supporting the “disastrous” policies of President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as he prefers “legality and security.”
Trump is widely admired among Europe’s nationalist leaders. Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder of France’s National Front, and Geert Wilders, founder and leader of the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands, have both endorsed Trump for president. (RELATED: Here’s Who The World Leaders Want As The Next US President)
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