President Trump is facing criticism both in the U.S. and in South Korea for apparently lying about sending an armada to the Korean Peninsula. More than a week ago, the White House announced it was sending the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson and multiple warships to send a show of force to North Korea, amid rising tensions. This is President Trump speaking on Fox News on April 12.
President Donald Trump: "We are sending an armada. Very powerful. We have submarines. Very powerful, far more powerful than the aircraft carrier. That I can tell you."
Trump’s announcement, which was repeated by the White House, was widely reported, including on Democracy Now! But, in fact, Trump had not sent the armada to the peninsula. In fact, at the time of the announcement, it was sailing in the opposite direction, to the Indian Ocean. The revelations that the armada was more than 3,000 miles away from the peninsula sparked outcry Wednesday, particularly in South Korea. On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer attempted to respond to reporters’ questions about the armada’s whereabouts.
Press Secretary Sean Spicer: "The president said that we have an armada going towards the peninsula. That’s a fact. It happened. It is happening, rather. ... We said that it was heading there, and it was heading there, it is heading there. So that—that remains. But that’s—that’s—if there’s an impression, then that’s not—then there should have been clarification from people who were seeking it. ... What—what part is misleading? I’m trying to figure that out. We were asked a question about what signal it sent. We answered the question on what signal it sent. I’m not the one who commented on timing."