Acting U.S. Navy Secretary Thomas Modly told the crew of U.S. aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt that their former captain Brett Crozier was either quote “stupid” or ill-willed for writing a scathing letter about the Navy's response to a coronavirus outbreak aboard his ship.
That’s according to U.S. officials who spoke to Reuters.
One of the officials said Modly’s comments angered the crew, who were already upset at his surprise decision on Thursday to relieve Captain Brett Crozier of his command.
The crew applauded Crozier when he was forced out following the leak of his letter.
The officials said Modly gave the speech over the weekend while the carrier was docked in Guam, and it was broadcast on the ship's loudspeakers.
A U.S. official confirmed that Modly took aim at Crozier for the leaking of the letter… saying if he didn’t think it would be made public he was - quote - “too naive or too stupid to be a commanding officer of a ship like this….
The alternative is that he did this on purpose.” Crozier has since tested positive for the coronavirus and Democrats in Congress have called for an investigation into his dismissal.