“I think General Flynn was really clear yesterday that Iran has violated the Joint Resolution, that Iran’s additional hostile actions that it took against our Navy vessel are ones that we are very clear are not going to sit by and take”

Major Garrett, Chief White House Correspondent with CBS News, can then be heard in video of the briefing quietly correcting him

— “a Saudi vessel” — to which Mr Spicer responded: “Sorry, thank you, yes a Saudi vessel. Yes, that’s right.”

“The press secretary did not correct the allegation that the Iranian government carried out the attack.

Fox News had initially reported — incorrectly — that a US vessel was the target of the attack, which may have contributed to Mr Spicer’s apparent confusion, but the Pentagon later confirmed it was a Saudi ship attacked by a group speculatively identified as Houthi.