The Australian government has confirmed that President Trump asked Prime Minister Scott Morrison to help the Justice Department unearth information about the origins of the Mueller investigation.
The confirmation came as it was reported that Attorney General William Barr has met with officials in the United Kingdom and Italy.
Barr has also sought the help of intelligence officials in these countries. His Justice Department is investigating whether American intelligence officials acted appropriately in the early stages of the Mueller investigation.
An Australian government spokesman confirmed on Tuesday that Trump pressed Morrison on the Mueller probe, saying in a statement Australia 'has always been ready to assist and cooperate with efforts that help shed further light on the matters under investigation.'
Donald Trump pressed Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to help Attorney General William Barr in an investigation. Trump hosted Morrison and his wife Jenny for a state visit last week. The timing of the call is unclear
Attorney General William Barr is gathering information for a Justice Department inquiry into how the Russian investigation got started
'The PM confirmed this readiness once again in conversation with the President.'
Trump, in a recent phone call to his Australian counterpart, made the pitch at the request of Barr, The New York Times reported, citing officials familiar with the conversation.
It's the second revelation that the president asked a fellow world leader to aid in a domestic political matter that could affect his re-election to the White House and comes as yet another Cabinet member has been dragged into the growing political scandal.
And in a further parallel to the growing Ukraine scandal, the White House also tried to restrict access to transcript of the call with Morrison to a small group of aides.
That was a similar move to how the administration handled Trump's July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, where he urged him to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.
Separately, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was revealed to have listened in on that call between Trump and Zelensky, The Wall Street Journal reported, pulling him into the growing impeachment inquiry that started with the president's request of the Ukrainian president.
The call with Morrison came within weeks of Trump's call to Zelensky, which the president denied was him pressuring the Ukraine into helping dig up dirt on one of his political rivals. Trump called it a 'perfect' call.
Australia's ambassador to Washington Joe Hockey wrote to Barr about his investigation into the origins of FBI's probe into Russia in May, offering some clues as to when the call might have been made.
Barr has tapped U.S. Attorney John Durham (above) to investigate the origins of the Mueller probe
'The Australian government will use its best endeavours to support your efforts in this matter,' he said in a May 28 letter.
Morrison was in Washington D.C. earlier this month for a state visit and a posh state dinner in the Rose Garden of the White House, which Barr attended.
Neither the White House or the Justice Department has offered their response.
But an official told CNN it was an appropriate move on Barr's behalf to ask for the president to request assistance from a foreign government into a probe of the 2016 election, and different from the call with Zelensky.
Trump named Barr repeatedly in that call and urged the Ukrainian leader to work with Barr and Rudy Giuliani - the president's personal attorney - to probe whether Joe Biden was corrupt. Barr was reported to be angry to have been named in the call.
But his role in the Australian call did not appear to cause such concern inside the Department of Justice.
An official said Barr asked the president to request the help of several countries, including Australia, in his probe of how the Russia investigation started.
Additionally, Barr has held private meetings overseas with foreign intelligence officials to ask for their help in his probe, The Washington Post reported.
Supporters of Barr and the Trump administration are likely to portray this as appropriate conduct - but critics, and those pushing for Trump's impeachment, may see it as an abuse of the attorney general's power.
The attorney general has spoken to British intelligence officials, and he traveled to Italy last week, where