Trump says may jump into Navy furor after captain ridiculed in speech

Brenda Watkins
April 7, 2020

In this November 15, 2029, photo U.S. Navy Capt. Brett Crozier addresses the crew of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt during an all-hands call on the ship's flight deck while conducting routine operations in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

According to the transcript and the recording, Modly described Crozier as being " either too naive or too stupid to command a ship like this" for not anticipating that the letter could get leaked since it was sent to so many people outside of his chain of command.

"If he didn't think that information was going to get out into the public in this information age that we live in, then he was A, too naive or too stupid to be a commanding officer of a ship like this", Modly said on the carrier while it was docked in Guam on Monday.

"The alternative is that he did this on goal", Modly said of the letter's publication in the San Francisco Examiner which would be a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

After the recording of his speech was published, Modly issued a statement saying he had not listened to the recording but that "the spoken words were from the heart". "I apologize for any confusion this choice of words may have caused". "I ask, but don't expect, that people read them in their entirety".

So far, according to the Pentagon, 61% of the Roosevelt crew has been tested for Covid-19, and 173 members have tested positive.

The letter was leaked to a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, who first reported its contents last week.

It had warned that the outbreak could kill sailors, saying that "if we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset - our sailors". Almost 2,900 sailors remain on board.

Navy Leader Attacks

Crozier has since tested positive for the virus and is in quarantine, The New York Times reported Sunday, citing two former Naval Academy classmates.

An unofficial transcript of Modly's remarks, as well as an audio recording, circulated widely on the internet Monday - demonstrating the slippery landscape that Modly accused Crozier of failing to navigate.

He said Crozier "waved him off", and said he felt that things were under control.

Acting U.S. Navy Secretary Thomas Modly, participates in a discussion on defense strategy, and key initiatives in the FY 2020 budget, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, on February 21, 2020 in Washington, DC. And let me tell ya something, if this ship was in combat and there were hypersonic missiles coming in at it, you'd be pretty fucking scared too. And later, "T-R has to stand strong as warriors, not weak like victims".

Last week, Modly removed Crozier from command. There is no, no situation where you go to the media.

"The former vice president of the United States, Joe Biden, suggested just yesterday that my decision was criminal", Modly said, apparently referring to comments Biden made Sunday on ABC's Meet the Press and subsequently posted on Twitter. They provided no transcript of the remarks he made there, calling it "a private visit " by the Navy's top civilian. "We are transparent with each other, using the proper channels with each other".

One U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said military officials had recommended against firing Crozier, arguing that it was better for an investigation to be complete.

Modly said the letter, and the leak, amounted to a betrayal by the captain, who was responsible one way or another. "I assure you it was not, because I understand the facts, and those facts show that what your captain did was very, very wrong in a moment when we expected him to be a calming force in a very turbulent sea".

British PM in intensive care with coronavirus
It was a seemingly rapid deterioration after Johnson had tweeted Monday that he was in "good spirits" while hospitalized . Mr Johnson has asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to deputise for him.

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