CNN panel: Trump's 'utterly bizarre' Putin 'fetish' is unnerving even his allies in the GOP
CNN reporter Nia-Malika Henderson (Screen cap).

Why has President Donald Trump been so complimentary toward Russian President Vladimir Putin?

In the wake of Trump's comments that drew moral equivalence between what Putin's government does and what the United States government does, a panel of CNN reporters tried to make sense of what they called his "fetish" for Putin.

According to panelist John King, both Republicans and Democrats in Congress are simply floored by Trump's repeated public praise for Putin, and they are hoping that Vice President Mike Pence will at some point stage an intervention to get Trump to see the Russian president for what he really is.

"That he won't criticize Putin is one thing that drives people on the Hill particularly a little crazy," King explained. "But the fact that he equated the United States with Vladimir Putin's Russia has all their heads spinning now."

King noted that different people have many different explanations for Trump's Putin comments -- some believe that he's simply ignorant, while others believe he's too stubborn to admit that he's wrong about Putin. King then notes that Democrats are "starting to be more open that there's something nefarious at play" about the Trump-Putin relationship.

CNN reporter Nia-Malika Henderson concluded that there's no obvious explanation for why Trump feels the way he does about Putin, and said that Democrats might be right to have suspicions.

"It's so utterly bizarre, this fetish and obsession with Putin," she said of Trump's behavior. "It's the thing that he's been most consistent on throughout his time on the political stage."