Politics White House denies misleading public in aircraft carrier mix-up

21:36  19 april  2017
21:36  19 april  2017 Source:   The Hill

US sends warships toward North Korea as a warning

  US sends warships toward North Korea as a warning Pivoting off what the White House considers a successful U.S. missile strike in Syria, the Trump administration sent a not-so-subtle message Sunday to North Korea: don't risk being next. With growing signs that North Korea Pyongyang may be preparing a sixth nuclear test, a U.S. aircraft carrier strike force near Singapore was diverted north toward the Korean peninsula, President Donald Trump spoke to leaders in Tokyo and Seoul, and senior administration officials made pointed note of the "full range of options" available to counter threats to the United States or its allies.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Wednesday denied that the Trump administration misled the public when the president said last week that a U.S. aircraft carrier was heading toward the Sea of Japan.

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Aircraft carrier wasn’t moving toward North Korea when WH said it was © Provided by The Hill Aircraft carrier wasn’t moving toward North Korea when WH said it was

White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Wednesday denied that the Trump administration misled the public when it was incorrectly announced last week that a U.S. aircraft carrier was heading toward the Sea of Japan.

"The president said that we have an armada going toward the [Korean Peninsula]. That is fact, it happened. It is happening, rather," Spicer said during a press briefing.

The Navy announced on April 9 that its Carl Vinson Strike Group would skip a regularly scheduled visit to Australia and head toward the western Pacific Ocean, a move the White House later said was meant as a deterrent to North Korea's recent provocations.

Despite talk of a military strike, Trump’s ‘armada’ was a long way from Korea

  Despite talk of a military strike, Trump’s ‘armada’ was a long way from Korea Chinese media said South Korea was “tricked badly,” but talk of the carrier may have been psychological warfare.A spokesman for the Pacific Command linked the deployment directly to the “number one threat in the region,” North Korea, and its “reckless, irresponsible and destabilizing program of missile tests and pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability.

"A glitch-ridden sequence of events" sums it up . Trump administration incompetence at work.

White House denies misleading public in aircraft carrier mix - up . Lawmakers have criticized the administration for sending mixed signals. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said in a radio interview Wednesday the miscommunication was "troubling."

Asked about the decision to send those ships to North Korea during a White House press briefing last week, Spicer framed the move as a deterrent.

"A carrier group is several things. The forward deployment is deterrence, presence. It's prudent. But it does a lot of things. It ensures our - we have the strategic capabilities, and it gives the president options in the region," he said at the time.

But those statements were contradicted by a Navy picture taken April 15 showing the strike force in the Sunda Strait, an area off the coast of Indonesia and thousands of miles from North Korea, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

Administration officials described to the Times what the paper referred to as a "glitch-ridden sequence of events ... [that] perpetuated the false narrative that an American armada was racing toward the waters off North Korea."

U.S. mix-up on aircraft carrier location sparks anger, mistrust

  U.S. mix-up on aircraft carrier location sparks anger, mistrust Asian nations seem to be more than upset over a miscommunication over a key aircraft carrier group. The strategic snafu over the USS Carl Vinson’s location this week has left ally South Korea on high alert and wary of President Trump’s credibility.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer denied last week that the Trump administration had misled the public on the Vinson’s movements. “[U.S. Pacific Command] put out a release talking about the group ultimately ending up in the Korean Peninsula — that’s what it will do,” he said.

White House denies misleading public in aircraft carrier .

Spicer denied the White House had misled the public with his statements made last week and blamed the Pentagon for any confusion.

"[U.S. Pacific Command] put out a release talking about the group ultimately ending up in the Korean peninsula, that's what it will do," Spicer said.

"I think we were asked very clearly about the use of a carrier group in terms of a deterrence and foreign presence and what that meant. That's what we discussed. I would refer you back to any other issues with that to the Department of Defense."

Spicer added: "What part is misleading? I'm trying to figure that out. We answered the question on what signal it sent. I'm not the one who commented on timing."

The Defense Department told the Times that the Carl Vinson is now headed for Korea and will arrive in the area next week.

Lawmakers have ripped the mixup, including Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who said in a radio interview Wednesday the miscommunication was "troubling."

"It certainly shows a breakdown in communications that is troubling because the president is commander-in-chief and Secretary Mattis apparently, according to press reports ... told him that this carrier and the destroyers were headed toward North Korea as a show of force. When in fact they were headed in the completely opposite direction to Australia. And its troubling if we don't know where our assets are," Collins said.

"It's also so surprising. Every time I have seen that map that shows where our naval assets are, believe me the Pentagon knows exactly where they are. So I suspect there was some just terrible miscommunication but it should not have occurred."

China launches first domestically-built aircraft carrier .
China on Wednesday launched its first domestically built aircraft carrier, which will join an existing one bought second-hand from the Ukraine, amid rising tensions over North Korea and worries about Beijing's assertiveness in the South China Sea. State media said the carrier, designed in China and built in the northeast port of Dalian, is not expected to enter service until 2020.The announcement by the official Xinhua news agency had been well-flagged as foreign military analysts and Chinese media have for months published satellite images, photographs and news stories about the second carrier's development.

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