The Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly blasted the now ousted commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt as “stupid” in an address to the ship’s crew Monday morning, in remarks obtained by CNN.
Modly told the crew that their former commander, Capt. Brett Crozier, was either “too naive or too stupid” to be in command or that he intentionally leaked to the media a memo in which he warned about coronavirus spreading aboard the aircraft carrier and urged action to save his sailors.
While Modly has publicly refrained from accusing Crozier of leaking the letter to the media in his address to the ship’s crew, the acting secretary accused Crozier of committing a “betrayal” and creating a “big controversy” in Washington by disseminating the warning so widely.
“It was a betrayal. And I can tell you one other thing: because he did that he put it in the public’s forum and it is now a big controversy in Washington, DC,” Modly said, according to a transcript of remarks Modly made to the crew, copies of which have been provided to CNN by multiple Navy officials.
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Modly’s use of the word “betrayal” is a loaded [term] because saying an officer has betrayed the Navy is a court martial offense. [I think CNN means an officer betraying the Navy is an offense that can lead to court martial, but you knew what they meant.]
A defense official familiar with Modly’s remarks offered his opinion of Modly’s address, saying the acting secretary “should be fired. I don’t know how he survives this day.”
I’ll tell you how he survives. Trump won’t fire him unless the media pressure forces him to, because he agrees with this point of view — because to him, the public perception is more important than the safety of the sailors. Full stop.
Trump justifies firing of Captain Crozier, captain who sounded alarm about coronavirus on his ship, because only about 10 percent of people aboard had the virus. Trump also claims it was "inappropriate" for Crozier to publicize the situation. pic.twitter.com/lt2S4IWx2Z
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 4, 2020
Here’s how the sailors felt about the captain who cared about their safety more than he cared about his career.
(By the way, that’s not great social distancing, fellas.)
I’m sure it was great for their morale to have some Trump stooge call their beloved captain naive or stupid for trying to protect them.