Mattis explains: Where the USS Vinson carrier group is going

Mattis explains: Where the USS Vinson carrier group is going

Last week, the Navy announced the Carl Vinson strike group would skip a regularly scheduled port visit in Australia and instead head to the western Pacific Ocean.

"We are sending an armada, very powerful" President Trump declared, in an interview with Fox Business on April. 11. "That's a fact. It happened - it is happening, rather".

Forced to defend that falsehood on Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer resorted to a little creative thinking. As the New York Times reports, a few ships are not where the Trump White House said they were.

The trip to the Indian Ocean, according to the US military's Pacific Command, was merely the first stop for the carrier, which on Tuesday was "proceeding to the Western Pacific as ordered" after completing training with Australia, The Washington Post reported.

But Defense News pointed out on Tuesday that photos released by the U.S. Navy showed the aircraft carrier passing through the Sunda Strait in Indonesia, about 3,500 miles from the Korean Peninsula, last Saturday. That's convenient, because when Trump said that, the armada in question was actually sailing the opposite direction to the Indian Ocean for joint exercises - not toward North Korea to serve as a deterrent.

It is not clear whether the failure to arrive was a deliberate deception, perhaps created to frighten North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un, a change of plan or simple miscommunication, the BBC's Korea correspondent Stephen Evans says.

"We want to send an unambiguous message especially to North Korea that any attempt to use weapons of any kind against our allies in this region or American forces overseas will be defeated and will be met with overwhelming force", Pence said in an interview with CNN.

Australia PM Turnbull puts free trade deal with India on backburner
Turnbull is visiting India in response to Modi's invitation to the Australian President during a G-20 summit in China a year ago . The bilateral discussion also hinted at a growing agreement to oppose China's territorial claims over the South China Sea region.

News organizations around the world, including NPR, covered the statements by Trump and other officials in Washington about the Carl Vinson's deployment as though the ships were bearing down on North Korea.

After the Navy's image of the ships spread across the internet, the narrative changed.

The US also accused North Korea of trying to "provoke something", with US Defence Secretary James Mattis calling the test a reckless move on Tuesday.

On April 11, the US Navy said it would take at least a week for the strike group to arrive at the desired location.

"Very powerful, far more powerful than the aircraft carrier". That's not what we ever said.

Earlier in the day, Vice President Mike Pence said Trump's point was he's ready to defend allies.

Well, us too. It's hard for the president to exercise an option he doesn't really have.

Related Articles

  • Aaron Hernandez's brain is being 'illegally' withheld from CTE study, lawyer says

    Aaron Hernandez's brain is being 'illegally' withheld from CTE study, lawyer says

    The investigation also found cardboard jammed into the door tracks of Hernandez's single-inmate cell, possibly to impede entry. Hernandez's fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez, filed a complaint Wednesday on behalf of the daughter she had with Hernandez.
    Chelsea boss Conte takes a surprise swipe at Tottenham

    Chelsea boss Conte takes a surprise swipe at Tottenham

    I've pretty much not been there this season but I've watched the games and even the ones we've lost we've been the better team. I liked the way they played when we were there and now they have players with a lot of talent in the way they want to play.
    Jimmy Kimmel hilariously mocks Starbucks' 'latest abomination' with his own new drink

    Jimmy Kimmel hilariously mocks Starbucks' 'latest abomination' with his own new drink

    The "magical" (a.k.a. sugary ) drink, which promises to change flavors and colors, has gotten mixed reviews in terms of taste. "It's only available through April 23 or when someone dies from drinking it, whatever comes first".
  • Trump strategy on N. Korea: 'Maximum pressure and engagement'

    Trump strategy on N. Korea: 'Maximum pressure and engagement'

    Russian Federation and China are critical to any pressure campaign on North Korea because they both hold veto power on the U.N. The timing of the test, coinciding with Pence's trip and a day after the military parade, would suggest deliberate defiance.
    Ottawa weather forecast calls for a rainy Friday

    Ottawa weather forecast calls for a rainy Friday

    Lows this morning are more pleasant than what we saw yesterday, as temperatures are holding steady in the upper 40s and lower 50s. SATURDAY: Widespread rain showers and thunderstorms will be possible across Kentucky, with a cool high temperature of 55 degrees.
    Erdogan insists Turkey reforms don't make him a dictator — CNN Exclusive

    Erdogan insists Turkey reforms don't make him a dictator — CNN Exclusive

    Under the outgoing constitution, the president had been required to remain impartial and renounce party political ties. The new system takes full effect at the next election, now slated for November 2019.
  • UN Security Council condemns North Korea missile test

    However, Reuters quoted USA officials as saying that they were aware of a higher-than-usual level of activity by Chinese bombers. Another window of opportunity is coming up with the 85th anniversary of the founding of North Korea's army on Tuesday.
    Missing Tenn. student found, former teacher arrested

    Missing Tenn. student found, former teacher arrested

    VICTIM indicated that Cummins must have been consoling her when the student walked in. "At the end of the day she's 15 years old". Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey, right, speaks during a press conference in Yreka, Calif., Thursday, April 20, 2017 .

    That 'Armada' Heading To North Korea? Actually, It Sailed South

    The statement said that the Vinson would head north "rather than executing previously planned port visits to Australia". The strike group, which includes the aircraft carrier, its 60-plus aircraft, the guided-missile destroyers USS Wayne E.
  • France says pressure needed to stop North Korea crossing next nuclear hurdle

    France says pressure needed to stop North Korea crossing next nuclear hurdle

    A United States city is the epicenter of a nuclear bomb in a disturbing new propaganda video released by North Korea. On the other hand, China believes that the problem in the Korean Peninsula should be resolved in a peaceful manner.
    Canada: Trump is wrong when he says dairy practices unfair

    Canada: Trump is wrong when he says dairy practices unfair

    John Austin, an employee at the McEachron family farm in Salem, NY, milks one of the cows on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2007. The $101 million plant opened in 2014, the product of an investment by 21 local dairy farmers.
    Steve Davis hails 'animal' Mark Selby as World Championship title defence begins

    Steve Davis hails 'animal' Mark Selby as World Championship title defence begins

    I won't get involved with it because I'm not being bullied , I'm not having people doing that to me ever again. Davis, snooker's dominant figure in the 1980s, only retired past year during the World Championship .