Departure of Navy secretary who called Theodore Roosevelt captain ‘naive’ and ‘stupid’ for trying to protected sailors from coronavirus was announced by Defense Secretary Mark Esper
Modly caused a fire storm when he flew 8,000 miles to Guam to launch a tirade against fired Captain Brett Crozier to his crew on the USS Theodore Roosevelt
Modly then flew 8 hours to Guam to tell sailors their fired captain was ‘naive’ and ‘stupid’
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly resigned Tuesday as lawmakers pressured President Donald Trump to take action
Acting Undersecretary of the Army, James McPherson, has been tapped by Pentagon officials to succeed Modly
Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee pushed back demanding Modly quit or be terminated
Modly was forced to apologize after President Trump said he may interfere
The former Acting Navy Secretary relieved Capt. Crozier of his command after his letter to his superiors seeking help for his crew leaked and went public, because ‘he thought President Trump would want him to’
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly resigned on Tuesday following an uproar over a profanity-laced address to the crew of the coronavirus-stricken aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt on Sunday, is gone Tuesday
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly resigned on Tuesday as pressure mounted on the Trump’s administration to can Modly for his profanity-laced harangue of the crew of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, days earlier.
Modly submitted his resignation letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Tuesday after meeting with him one-on-one, Politico reported.
The letter was later accepted, and current Acting Undersecretary of the Army, James McPherson, has been tapped by Pentagon officials to succeed Modly in the Navy spot.
in the wake of his outbursts and actions, several Democratic lawmakers had called for Modly’s departure.
Demanding that Modly resign or be removed from office on Tuesday, Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic speaker of the House said: “Acting Secretary Modly’s actions and words demonstrate his failure to prioritize the force protection of our troops. He showed a “serious lack of the sound judgment and strong leadership needed during this time. Acting Secretary Modly must be removed from his position or resign,” she said in a statement.
Powerful push back by Speaker Nancy Pelosi [left] and Democratic Rep. Adam Smith, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, demanding President Donald Trump fire his acting Navy Secretary appears to have cost Thomas Modly his job
By Monday Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly issued the apology statement on that evening after President Trump said he may step in to settle the situation
Modly’s remarks imploded after they were made public. Defense Secretary Mark Esper ordered him to apologize, and President Trump indicated he was going to step in and settle the situation.
‘I want to apologize for my recent comments to the crew of the TR,’ he said in a statement. ‘Let me be clear, I do not think Captain Brett Crozier is naive or stupid. I think, and always believed him to be the opposite. We pick our carrier commanding officers with great care. Captain Crozier is smart and passionate.’
‘I believe, precisely because he is not naive and stupid, that he sent his alarming email with the intention of getting it into the public domain in an effort to draw public attention to the situation of his ship,’ he added.
‘I apologize for any confusion this choice of words may have caused. I also want to apologize directly to Captain Crozier, his family, and the entire crew of the Theodore Roosevelt for any pain my remarks may have caused,’ Modly said.
In a scathing memo to Navy officials, Crozier pleaded to be able to take the Roosevelt to dock to try and contain the growing out break of coronavirus on the ship.
‘We are not at war. Sailors do not need to die,’ Crozier wrote in the four-page missive.
Several people – including lawmakers and his sailors alike – hailed him as a hero for his words. His crew applauded him as he descended the gang plank of the ship after Modly removed him from command.
Mea Culpa by Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly who issued the apology statement above on Monday evening after President Trump said he may step in to settle the situation
As of Tuesday, 230 crew members of the Roosevelt had tested positive for the coronavirus, according to Navy officials.
President Trump acknowledged Modly used ‘tough language’ when he addressed the sailors and said he may wade into in the situation.
‘[He], made a mistake when he sent a letter decrying the Navy’s response to a coronavirus outbreak on the USS Theodore Roosevelt but said he shouldn’t have his career destroyed for ‘having a bad day’ – President Trump appeared to have reversed his position on the firing of the Roosevelt’s Commanding Officer, Capt. Brett Crozier [photo]
‘Believe it or not, I am good at settling arguments. I’m good at settling these arguments. So I may look into it in great detail, in detail. I’ll be able to figure out very fast,’ the president said at his daily press briefing on Monday.
But Trump also said Crozier shouldn’t have sent the memo. He added, however, that the captain had a great career prior to the incident and shouldn’t have that destroyed for ‘having a bad day.’
‘With all of that said, his career prior to that was very good. So I’m going to get involved and see exactly was going on. I don’t want to destroy somebody for having a bad day,’ the president said.
‘He shouldn’t be writing letters like that. But it happens. Sometimes I’ll write a letter that I’ll say I wish I didn’t send it. Not too often but it happens,’ Trump said.
When pressed, President Trump declined to say what he may do for Crozier but said he would speak to Modly and Defense Secretary Mark Esper about it.
Esper would be the one to remove Modly but would not do so without Trump’s approval.
‘The only thing that has played right up here with me is that I looked at his record,’ Trump said, pointing to his head as he talked about Crozier. ‘He’s been an outstanding person. If he wasn’t, I wouldn’t even be talking about this. He’s been an outstanding person. He’s had a very exemplary military career.’
In making his apology Thomas Modly, President Trump’s acting Navy secretary, recanted belief in his utterances to sailors on the USS Theodore Roosevelt, that their fired commanding officer was ‘naive’ and ‘stupid’, in standing up for their welfare
The president then went on to praise Crozier’s military record: ‘He started off as a helicopter pilot. They called him chopper. He was a great helicopter pilot. Takes tremendous skill. Then he went to F-16s or f-18’s and he was tremendous pilot and then he was very smart, he studied nuclear energy and he was fantastic and very few people have the aptitude, that they have the mentality to do that. Nuclear energy is very complex, it’s very hard, very few people can do it. And he did it well.’
Trump repeated that the captain merely made ‘a mistake’ in sending the missive and indicated Crozier shouldn’t have to pay for it with his military career.
‘He made a mistake. He made a mistake. And maybe we are going to make that mistake not destroy his life,’ he said.
‘If he didn’t think, in my opinion, that this information wasn’t going to get out into the public, in this day and information age we live in, then he was either A) too naïve or too stupid to be a commanding officer of a ship like this. The alternative is that he did this on purpose,’ the navy secretary said in remarks obtained by the Daily Caller.
After Modly called Crozier ‘naive,’ a person on the ship is heard shouting ‘shut the f*** up,’ on an audio recording of the address.
Modly originally defended his remarks.
‘I have not listened to a recording of my remarks since speaking to the crew so I cannot verify if the transcript is accurate. The spoken words were from the heart, and meant for them. I stand by every word I said, even, regrettably any profanity that may have been used for emphasis. Anyone who has ever served on a Navy ship would understand. I ask, but don’t expect, that people would read them in their entirety,’ he said in a statement after the speech leaked.
Putting his career on the line for his men: Captain Brett Crozier [photo], was relieved of his command after a memo he wrote complaining the Navy wasn’t doing enough to help with a coronavirus outbreak on his ship went viral – Many sailors on the Roosevelt reportedly, have praised their CO for his actions and for being a leader when the sailors needed him
‘I’m gonna tell you something, all of you, there is never a situation where you should consider the media a part of your chain of command,’ he noted in his remarks. ‘You can jump the chain of command if you want and take the consequences, you can disobey the chain of command and take the consequences, but there is no, no situation where you go to the media, because the media has an agenda, and the agenda that they have depends on which side of the political aisle they sit. I’m sorry that’s the way the country is now but it’s the truth and so they use it to divide us and use it to embarrass the Navy. They use it to embarrass you.’
He then went on to complain about the hate being levied at him for firing the ‘hero’ captain, as Crozier is being referred to by supporters online.
‘I cannot control or attempt to change whatever anger you have with me for relieving your beloved CO. If I could offer you a glimpse of the level of hatred and pure evil that has been thrown my way, my family’s way and they are taking care of people on the shore who are busting their asses to get them off this ship. They aren’t taking shots at them. They’re asking how can we help them,’ Modly said.
The backlash to Modly’s decision has been intense and support for the captain is strong. The crew of Theodore Roosevelt applauded Crozier as he descended the gangplank of the nuclear-powered ship after Modly relieved him.
Crew cheer the departure of the CO from The USS Theodore Roosevelt on Thursday
‘Seriously, that’s crazy. If anything the guy deserves a promotion. That’s the type of leadership they lack, but the type they need,’ another said.
The acting Navy secretary defended his decision in an interview, where he explained he fired Crozier because he thought that was what President Trump would want.
‘I didn’t want to get into a decision where the president would feel that he had to intervene because the Navy couldn’t be decisive,’ Modly said: ‘If I were president, and I saw a commanding officer of a ship exercising such poor judgment, I would be asking why the leadership of the Navy wasn’t taking action itself.’
He said he did not speak to anyone in the White House before he made his decision.
But Modly also recounted how his predecessor, Navy Secretary Richard Spencer, ‘lost his job because the Navy Department got crossways with the president’ in the case of former Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher.
‘I didn’t want that to happen again,’ Modly said.
And the president made it clear he agreed with the decision to terminate Crozier.
‘I thought it was terrible, what he did, to write a letter. I mean, this isn’t a class on literature. This is a captain of a massive ship that’s nuclear powered. And he shouldn’t be talking that way in a letter,’ Trump said.