CNN panel appalled by Trump's 'jaw-dropping' declaration that meeting Putin will be easier than meeting allies
Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin (MSNBC)

A CNN panel on Tuesday was appalled by President Donald Trump's declaration that it would be "easier" for him to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin than it would be to meet with traditional American allies such as the United Kingdom on his upcoming foreign trip.

Shortly before boarding Air Force One, Trump broke down his meeting schedule in Europe over the next several days, and he implied that he was most looking forward to meeting with Putin.

"I have NATO, I have the UK, which is somewhat in turmoil, and I have Putin," Trump said. "Frankly, Putin may be the easiest of them all – who would think?"

CNN's John Avlon was stunned by Trump's admission, which he said was unthinkable to imagine any other president saying.

"Vladimir Putin, to say that he's a competitor, to say it's too early to say what his intentions are, we have plenty of documentation," Avlon said. "This is the president continuing to keep Putin close. And to say that Putin is a friendlier, easier meeting than with our oldest allies in the world is simply jaw-dropping."

Avlon then hinted that we should be suspicious of Trump's continued love affair with Putin -- and whether there is anything deeper behind it.

"He's sticking to that line [with Putin]," he said. "You have to ask yourself: 'Why?'"

Watch the video below.