The White House led people to believe that a U.S. aircraft carrier was on his way to the waters off the Korean peninsula in a show of military strength. White House press secretary said, “I think when you see a carrier group steaming into an area like that, the forward presence of that is clearly, through almost every instance, a huge deterrence,” he said, adding that it “gives the President options in the region.” However, none of that is true because the U.S. aircraft carrier was traveling in the opposite direction.
According to vice-president Mike Pence, the claims of the location of the U.S. aircraft carrier supposedly on its way off the Korean peninsula were not made intentionally. Or in reality, he’s saying the White House doesn’t know how to communicate because it’s so inept, or perhaps, Trump used this to bolster his alleged presidency so that his first 100 days in office won’t appear to be a complete disaster.
Earlier this month, White House and Pentagon officials announced that the USS Carl Vinson and its accompanying battle group had been deployed off the coast of the Korean peninsula, a response to a missile test launched by North Korea. But on Monday, Defense News reported that the Carl Vinson was nowhere near the Korean peninsula and had instead been photographed near Indonesia.
After reports from major outlets saying that the Carl Vinson had not immediately turned north towards the Korean peninsula, government officials were left having to explain why the aircraft carrier had not been deployed as initially described.
Pence was asked during an interview with CNN if the remarks from White House and Pentagon officials had been intentional and the vice-president said, “oh, I think not” then went on to say there was already a strong U.S. military presence in the Asia-Pacific region, including in Japan and South Korea. Pence did not explain why government officials declared that the that the strike group was “steaming up toward the sea of Japan.”
Here is Sean Spicer saying exactly that on Monday:
CNN interviewed Pence aboard the USS Ronald Reagan at the U.S. Yokosuka naval base in Tokyo Bay and addressed the crew saying that the U.S. would “work diligently” with allies to maintain and increase pressure on North Korea.
“The United States of America will always seek peace but under President Trump, the shield stands guard and the sword stands ready,” Pence said. “”Those who would challenge our resolve or readiness should know, we will defeat any attack and meet any use of conventional or nuclear weapons with an overwhelming and effective American response.”
The word ‘effective’ doesn’t mean what Pence thinks it means.
Just one week after the announcement that the carrier was off the Korean peninsula, an official Navy photo showed that the strike group was actually farther away from the claimed location than it had been at the time of the announcement.
Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images.