Trump didn't actually send an aircraft carrier to intimidate North Korea -- as Sean Spicer suggested
White House press secretary Sean Spicer (Screenshot)

Last week, news broke that President Donald Trump had ordered an aircraft carrier to the Sea of Japan in a purported effort to intimidate the North Korean government -- but it turns out that the carrier was actually headed in the opposite direction.

The New York Times reports that the U.S.S. Carl Vinson was sailing toward the Indian Ocean at the time the U.S. announced that it was heading to the Sea of Japan, despite the fact that Sean Spicer said on April 11 that the carrier would serve as "a huge deterrence" to North Korea.

"White House officials said on Tuesday they were relying on guidance from the Defense Department," writes the Times. "Officials there described a glitch-ridden sequence of events, from a premature announcement of the deployment by the military’s Pacific Command to an erroneous explanation by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis — all of which perpetuated the false narrative that an American armada was racing toward the waters off North Korea."

The Times notes that questions arose about the validity of the administration's claims that it was sending the carrier to deter North Korea after the Navy on Monday posted a photo of the U.S.S. Carl Vinson sailing through the Sunda Strait in Indonesia, which is thousands of miles south of the Sea of Japan.