In a related piece, Josh Marshall tries to figure out what happened to the fleet. A snippet (much more detail at the link):
What seems to have happened is that the decision was made to send the carrier group back to waters around the Koreas. They didn’t cancel a planned exercise to the South but scrapped a port of call in Australia to get back to the waters around Korea and Japan more quickly. This was a significant change of plans and would have sent what seems to have been the intended signal – a bit of saber-rattling in the context of the current stand off between North Korea and the United States. My point is that the original Pentagon statements were reasonable descriptions of what was happening.
But then the White House and particularly the President said things that were much more direct and clearly, at best, misleading. What is key is that this does not seem to have been some intentional misdirection or ambiguity. . . . It seems much more like the White House and the President got sloppy, didn’t know exactly what was happening and through sloppiness and bravado created an impression that simply wasn’t true.
The Trump White House, sloppy? Oh, my.