US President Donald Trump speaks about his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin ahead of a meeting with Republican lawmakers and cabinet members on tax cuts at the White House in Washington, DC, on July 17, 2018. (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP)        (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
CNN  — 

President Donald Trump, facing an onslaught of bipartisan fury over his glowing remarks about Vladimir Putin, said more than 24 hours afterward that he had misspoken during his news conference with the autocratic Russian leader.

Here are Trump’s full remarks, in which he said “there is some need for clarification” about his comments on Russian interference in the 2016 election, as released by the White House:

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, everybody. Yesterday, I returned from a trip from Europe where I met with leaders from across the region to seek a more peaceful future for the United States. We’re working very hard with our allies, and all over the world we’re working. We’re going to have peace. That’s what we want; that’s what we’re going to have. I say peace through strength.

I have helped the NATO Alliance greatly by increasing defense contributions from our NATO Allies by over $44 billion. And Secretary Stoltenberg was fantastic. As you know, he reported that they’ve never had an increase like this in their history, and NATO was actually going down as opposed to going up. And I increased it by my meeting last year – $44 billion. And this year will be over – it will be hundreds of billions of dollars over the coming years.

And I think there’s great unity with NATO. There’s a lot of very positive things happening. There’s a great spirit that we didn’t have before, and there’s a lot of money that they’re putting up. They weren’t paying their bills on time, and now they’re doing that. And I want to just say thank you very much to Secretary Stoltenberg. He really has been terrific. So we had a tremendous success.

I also had meetings with Prime Minister May on the range of issues concerning our special relationship, and that’s between the United Kingdom and ourselves. We met with the Queen, who is absolutely a terrific person, where she reviewed her Honor Guard for the first time in 70 years, they tell me. We walked in front of the Honor Guard, and that was very inspiring to see and be with her. And I think the relationship, I can truly say, is a good one. But she was very, very inspiring indeed.

Most recently, I returned from Helsinki, Finland, and I was going to give a news conference over the next couple of days about the tremendous success. Because as successful as NATO was, I think this was our most successful visit. And that had to do, as you know, with Russia.

I met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in an attempt to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing humanity. We have never been in a worse relationship with Russia than we are as of a few days ago, and I think that’s gotten substantially better. And I think it has the possibility of getting much better. And I used to talk about this during the campaign. Getting along with Russia would be a good thing. Getting along with China would be a good thing. Not a bad thing; a good thing. In fact, a very good thing.

We’re nuclear powers – great nuclear powers. Russia and us have 90 percent of the nuclear weapons. So I’ve always felt getting along is a positive thing, and not just for that reason.

I entered the meeting with the firm conviction that diplomacy and engagement is better than hostility and conflict. And I feel that with everybody. We have 29 members in NATO, as an example, and I have great relationships – or at least very good relationships – with everybody.

The press covered it quite inaccurately. They said I insulted people. Well, if asking for people to pay up money that they are supposed to pay is insulting, maybe I did. But I can tell you, when I left, everybody was thrilled. And that’s the way this was, too.

My meeting with President Putin was really interesting in so many different ways because we haven’t had relationships with Russia for a long time, and we started. Let me begin by saying that, once again, the full faith and support for America’s intelligence agencies – I have a full faith in our intelligence agencies.

Whoops, they just turned off the light. That must be the intelligence agents. (Laughter.) There it goes. Okay. You guys okay? Good. (Laughter.) That was strange. But that’s okay.

So I’ll begin by stating that I have full faith and support for America’s great intelligence agencies. Always have. And I have felt very strongly that, while Russia’s actions had no impact at all on the outcome of the election, let me be totally clear in saying that – and I’ve said this many times – I accept our intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election took place. Could be other people also; there’s a lot of people out there.

There was no collusion at all. And people have seen that, and they’ve seen that strongly. The House has already come out very strongly on that. A lot of people have come out strongly on that.

I thought that I made myself very clear by having just reviewed the transcript. Now, I have to say, I came back, and I said, “What is going on? What’s the big deal?” So I got a transcript. I reviewed it. I actually went out and reviewed a clip of an answer that I gave, and I realized that there is need for some clarification.

It should have been obvious – I thought it would be obvious – but I would like to clarify, just in case it wasn’t. In a key sentence in my remarks, I said the word “would” instead of “wouldn’t.” The sentence should have been: I don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t – or why it wouldn’t be Russia. So just to repeat it, I said the word “would” instead of “wouldn’t.