>> When people like me, I like them, even Putin. Donald Trump's praise for Russian President Vladimir Putin on the 2016 trail, turning off American voters who have eastern European ties. Correspondent Susan Cornwell is on the story. There are over 15 million Americans who claim some eastern European ancestry.
Say maybe some Polish or Ukrainian or Lithuanian or Czech. And the thing is that a lot of them live in what we think of as the battleground states. The states where the candidates are pulling out all the stops to win, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida.>> Such voters have leaned Republican for decades, but Trump's support for Putin and his criticism of NATO are making them think again.
>> Many countries are not paying their fair share. Either they pay up, including for past deficiencies, or they have to get out. And if it breaks up NATO, it breaks up NATO.>> This really alarms a number of the eastern European Americans.>> The man has very strong control over a country.
>> It's his Russia that has taken part of Ukraine, the Crimea, and annexed it two years ago. Some of them say that they are not on the Trump bandwagon. And that many of their members are rethinking their long time Republican commitments.>> Diana Vedudes advocates for the nation's 600,000 Lithuanian Americans.
>> We were absolutely shocked that one of the candidates considered abandoning our commitment to NATO.>> Seeing an opportunity, Trump's rival Hillary Clinton taking pains to reassure voters of eastern European descent.>> He doesn't care whether NATO falls apart. That's the kind of dangerous, reckless talk that people around the world pay attention to.
>> Trump argues better relations with Russia would be good for the US.