Transcript for Trump administration under fire for misleading the public on the USS Carl Vinson strike group
Next tonight to new questions after president trump said a very powerful armada is on its way to Korea. Was the ship really headed to the Korean peninsula at the time or was it headed some place else? And the headlines overseas asking, was the white house lying? We learn tonight that in fact at the time those ships were headed in the other direction. Here's ABC's chief white house correspondent Jonathan Karl. Reporter: The "Uss Carl Vinson" strike group is finally on its way toward the Korean peninsula today. But the trump administration is now under fire for providing misleading information about the carrier's movement for over a week. "Trump's lies on the 'Carl Vinson,'" declared a leading south Korean newspaper today, reading "XI jinping and Putin must be laughing," is the U.S. "Bluffing" its north Korean policy? Last week, with the world on watch for a possible north Korean nuclear test, president trump was talking tough. North Korea is a problem, the problem will be taken care of. Reporter: The president would not reveal his strategy but defense secretary James Mattis said the "Vinson" was changing course, heading to the Korean peninsula. And the president said this -- We are sending an armada, very powerful. We have submarines, very powerful. Reporter: Reports about the "Vinson" dominated news coverage in Asia, from newscasts to the front pages of the south China morning post. Press secretary Sean spicer was asked if the administration was using the carrier to send a message to Kim Jong-un. His answer made it sound like the carrier group was indeed racing to the region. When you see a -- a carrier group steaming into an area like that, the forward presence of that is clearly, through almost every instance, a -- a -- a huge deterrent. Reporter: But the "Uss Carl Vinson" was not, in fact, steaming to the region. It was more than 3,000 nautical miles away, traveling in the opposite direction, heading south, away from the Korean peninsula, to a previously scheduled joint military exercise off the coast of Australia. The white house now acknowledges all of that but today still insisted it did not mislead anybody last week. The president said we'd have an armada going towards the peninsula. That's a fact. It happened. It is happening rather. Jon Karl with us live. Jon for people watching at home, keeping track of action taken overseas, the American military dropping that bomb on ISIS in Afghanistan and of course, now, the tense standoff with north Korea, lat today secretary of state Rex tiller with strong words now about Iran. What is the trump administration now saying about that country in. Secretary tillerson said Iran is complying with the letter of the nuclear agreement that was signed by president Obama but he had harsh words for Iran support of terrorism in the Middle East and suggest that Iran is going down the same path as north Korea. The administration is conducting a review whether to drop out of that nuclear agreement, David. Jon Karl with late news on Iran today.
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