President Donald Trump has argued that he did all he could to confront Russian President Vladimir Putin on election meddling and says he told Putin the US "can't have a scintilla of doubt" about the integrity of future votes.
Trump told reporters onboard Air Force One en route to France on Wednesday that Putin twice denied any meddling and the president asked what more he could have done.
Trump asked: "What do you do? End up in a fistfight with somebody, OK?"
Trump also disputed that Putin ever claimed Trump had accepted his denials, insisting Putin "didn't say that".
Putin had said it seemed to him that Trump had "agreed" but added "it's better to ask him about his attitude".
The White House originally said Trump's comments would be off the record, but reversed the decision on Thursday.