White House tries to clear confusion over USS Vinson mission

13News Now Mike Gooding has the story

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WVEC) -- Today the White House tried to clarify a series of confusing and possibly misleading statements about the location of a Navy aircraft carrier it initially said was headed north to the Korean Peninsula.

Instead of heading straight towards the Korean peninsula the strike group headed the opposite direction.

The USS Carl Vinson was actually headed south from Singapore to participate in a four-day military exercise with the Australian Navy, 3,500 miles away in the Indian Ocean, ABC News has confirmed.

The Vinson group is now not expected in the Sea of Japan until the end of the month.

Still, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer wouldn't give an inch.

"The President said we have an armada going towards the Peninsula," he said."That's a fact. That's what happened, that is happening, rather."

The Vinson group will bring a significant amount of firepower once it does arrive.

And that's the important part of the story, says Virginia Second District congressman and former Navy SEAL Scott Taylor.

"I actually have to give credit to the White House because you have a China that is more engaged than ever before in North Korea," he said. "We want peace there. We do not want conflict there. But at the same time, you have a regime in North Korea that has consistently done nuclear tests, shot missiles into the waters close to our allies, the trying to miniaturize nuclear weapons, put them on submarines, trying to get intercontinental ballistic missiles. What happens if they start shooting off the coast of California?"

US Defense officials now say the Vinson group's deployment has been extended 30 days, and the it will be in place, near Korea, next week.

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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