President Carter addressed the nation the morning of the 25th and within hours Defense and State Department Officials held Press briefings in an attempt to explain the situation.
Defense Secretary Harold Brown:’On the late evening and early morning of April 24th and 25th, Iran time, approximately 90 U.S. military personnel, together with air crews embarked on an operation to prepare for rescue of the U.S. citizens held hostage in Iran. The 8 helicopters and associated transport aircraft were en route to a remote landing site 200 miles from Tehran, in the Iranian desert that was to be used for refueling and on that map we’ve circled in black roughly the area to which I’m referring. Depending upon the success of that and other steps, a later decision was to have been made as to whether to proceed with an actual rescue attempt. Because we knew the long and arduous trip would tax the capacity of the Helicopters. Two of the helicopters experienced problems en route. One landed in the desert and its crew was picked up by another helicopter.”
The press were having a hard time buying it. The more that was explained the more questions it left. And they would keep asking questions for several more days.
Here is the Harold Brown press conference and news from later in the morning (after the Carter announcement) of the 25th.