President Trump on Monday said at a news conference that he might become involved within the public crisis playing call at the Navy after an carrier commander was ousted after raising the alarm a few coronavirus outbreak on the ship during a leaked letter.
Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly seemed to worsen things when he gave a surprise speech to sailors on the USS Roosevelt and called ousted Captain Brett Cozier “too naïve or too stupid” to be a commandant of a ship like this, Reuters reported.
Modly later issued an apology to the Navy and Crozier and said, “Let me be clear, I don’t think Captain Brett Cozier is naive nor stupid. I think, and always believed him to be the other . We pick our carrier commanding officers with care . Captain Crozier is sensible and passionate.”
Modly said he wanted to apologize for any “confusion this choice of words may have caused.”
Trump told a news conference that he’s good at “settling arguments.” Trump said Cozier should have resisted sending the letter but he didn’t want to destroy “somebody for having a nasty day,” the report said.
Several Democrats in Congress are calling for Modly to be fired following the speech during which he admonished the ship’s former commander for expressing concerns over the coronavirus during a strongly worded letter that was leaked to the media.
Virginia Rep. Elaine Luria, a Navy veteran and member of the House Armed Services Committee, involved Defense Secretary Mark Esper to fireside Modly for his remarks about Capt. Brett Crozier, who he called “too naïve or too stupid” to steer the carrier.
“TR Sailors are on the frontlines of this pandemic and of our nation’s defense within the Pacific,” Luria tweeted Monday. “Acting @SECNAV remarks to the crew show that he’s in no way fit lead our Navy through this trying time.@EsperDoD should immediately fire him.”
Modly is facing a wave of criticism after he accused Crozier of “betrayal” for his letter warning that the coronavirus had created a dire situation on the ship, which is now docked in Guam. Modly apologized for his remarks Monday night, saying, “Let me be clear, I don’t think Captain Brett Crozier is naïve nor stupid.”
Last week The San Francisco Chronicle published the letter during which Crozier pleaded for help to contain the virus, which has infected a minimum of 155 sailors aboard the ship, including himself.
He was relieved of his command last week after defense officials said he went outside the chain of command. Crew members cheered him as he departed the carrier.
“I didn’t come to the present decision lightly,” Modly said of his decision. “I haven’t any doubt in my mind [Capt.] Crozier did what he thought was within the best interest [of] the security and well being of his crew. Unfortunately, he did the other .”
Many Democrats argued Crozier was searching for the health and safety of his crew and was being punished for the Navy’s muzzled response. Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, a Marine veteran, also involved Modly to be sacked over his remarks.
“Modly should be removed unceremoniously for these shocking remarks — especially after failing to guard sailors safety and health. He has betrayed their trust,” Blumenthal tweeted, while also calling for a Department of Defense military officer investigation.
California Rep. Ted Lieu, who may be a colonel within the Air Force Reserve, called Modly a “hypocrite” after his speech was leaked while saying he wasn’t fit lead the Navy.
In a statement, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine called Modly’s comments “inappropriate and beneath the office of the Secretary of the Navy.”
“It’s deeply disappointing that he would deliver a speech on board a U.S. carrier suggesting that Captain Crozier could be ‘stupid’ and bashing the media for trying to report the reality ,” he said. “These dedicated sailors deserve better from their leadership.”
Source: Fox News