The White House said Wednesday that it did not mislead allies when announcing last week that the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson was headed to the Korean peninsula, despite the ship spending days on a training excursion near Australia.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the the aircraft carrier battle group was being sent to the Korean peninsula and the exact timing was beside the point.
“It was heading there. It is heading there,” Mr. Spicer said.
Confusion about the timing originated with the announcement from the Pentagon that the battle group was being redeployed in response to North Korea’s provocative missile tests.
Last week, Mr. Spicer said that sending the USS Carl Vinson to the Korean peninsula sent a reassuring message to allies about the U.S. commitment to countering North Korea.
“The only question we were asked was what signal does it send,” said Mr. Spicer, who insisted that the message remains accurate.