During Wednesday’s press conference, White House reporters questioned Press Secretary Sean Spicer over the administration’s false claims that an aircraft carrier was sent to the Sea of Japan as a warning to North Korea.
Last week, Spicer said the carrier would be “a huge deterrence” to the communist country, but according to the New York Times, the U.S.S. Carl Vinson was on the way to the Indian Ocean on Tuesday and not the Sea of Japan like the U.S. announced.
By Monday, the carrier was still thousands of miles away from the Sea of Japan, sailing through the Sunda Strait in Indonesia.
When Spicer was asked why the administration mislead the public with its past comments about the carrier being on the way to the Sea of Japan, the press secretary insisted they didn’t say anything misleading.
“The president said we have an armada that’s going toward the peninsula,” Spicer said. “That’s a fact, it happened. It is happening, rather.”
A reporter pointed out “when the President of the United States says there’s military hardware going to a region in the middle of a crisis on the Korean Peninsula, the allies of the United States are encouraged,” but “when that happens to not be the case, they can interpret that as a false encouragement” for their efforts.
“How is this White House explaining to South Korea and Japan there was no U.S.S. Carl Vinson?” she asked.
Spicer didn’t seem to be bothered.
“The statement that was put out was that the U.S.S. Carl Vinson carrier group was headed to the Korean Peninsula,” said Spicer. “It is headed to the Korean Peninsula.”
“It’s headed there now, it wasn’t headed there last week,” the reporter said.
“But that’s not what we said,” Spicer replied. “We said it was heading there. It was heading there. It is heading there.”