President Barack Obama will not be protected by a vast armada of 34 US warships when he visits Mumbai this weekend, officials said, calling reports from India on security preparations "comical."
The claim that many of the 288-ship US naval fleet would be deployed to waters off Mumbai was "absolutely absurd," Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell told reporters on Thursday.
US officials usually decline to discuss details about security precautions for the president, but the media accounts circulating out of India were so off the mark that press officers at the Pentagon and the White House said they felt compelled to speak up.
"I will take the liberty this time of dismissing as absolutely absurd this notion that somehow we were deploying 10 percent of the
Navy -- some 34 ships and an aircraft carrier -- in support of the president's trip to Asia," Morrell said.
"That's just comical. Nothing close to that is being done," he said.
No denial, though, that the entourage is 3,000 people. Curious.