>> President Donald Trump is preparing this weekend for a big trip to Europe next week where he'll meet not only with leaders of NATO, but also the alliance's biggest geopolitical opponent, Russian President, Vladimir Putin. Throughout his political rise, Trump's willingness to praise Putin plus allegations his campaign colluded with the Kremlin in the lead up to his election.
>> There is no collusion.>> Had made many allies nervous. White House correspondent, Jeff Mason.>> It is interesting that there is so much tension right now between President Trump and some of U.S.'s Nato allies, which are the traditional allies of the United States. While he is seeking to build the strong relationship with the President Putin and Russia which is a traditional foe.
>> Those worries eased not a bit by his comments at a rally this week in Montana.>> And I might even end up having a good relationship. You know what, Putin's fine. He's fine. We're all fine with people->> Trump's frequent blast at Germany and other NATO countries for not spending enough on defense has left the alliance badly strained.
It's a source of tension between the United States and NATO allies but it's been exacerbated by President Trump's style and the way that he's pushed it.>> And we're the shmucks that are paying for the whole thing.>> Ahead of the meetings in Brussels, Trump doubled down.>> Germany pays 1%.
And I said you know Angela, I can't guarantee it, but we're protecting you. And it means a lot more to you cuz I don't know how much protection we get by protecting you.>> Looming over the meeting fears that Trump might move to rein in NATO military exercise aimed at keeping Europe primed for any threat from Russia.
The White House says Trump's meeting with Putin in Helsinki, Finland on July 16th, will be a chance to reduce tensions overall.>> U.S. officials have said that he will raise the issues of election meddling, that he will discuss Syria, that he will discuss Ukraine. And broadly, that he and the administration wants to see whether or not Russia is serious about reducing tensions with the west.
>> Trump's trip will also include a stop in Britain, meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May and Queen Elizabeth away from London. Amid plans for major protests over his policies.