>> In the coming months and years->> Call it a Team Trump mix up, miscommunication, or simply crossed wires. But as the US President boasted he sent an armada as a warning to North Korea last week, the USS Carl Vinson and its strike group were actually speeding in the opposite direction.
On Tuesday, the military clarified that the fleet was actually way off in the Indian Ocean over the weekend, taking part in joint exercises with Australia. Officials say a series of errors kept the false story afloat. First the Navy said the warships were headed to an unnamed location in the Western Pacific.
Reuters and other media reported that would take at least a week, winding up with North Korea's Day of the Sun celebrations, and expectations of a possible weapons test, which ended up going ahead. As per protocol the Navy didn't give an exact destination, or that they needed to stop off near Australia first.
Next, Defense Chief Jim Mattis claimed the exercise with the Australians had been canceled. But he'd actually confused two events, a canceled port call and the actual scheduled exercises. After a week of war drums and a dud missile test from North Korea, on Monday the Navy posted a photo of the Carl Vinson as it passed Indonesia.
While the Pentagon has since corrected the record, Korea experts say they wonder whether the mix ups could chip away at Team Trump's credibility. At a time when America's trying to bear it's teeth in the face of a belligerent and unpredictable Pyongyang.>>