President Donald Trump said Saturday he agrees “100%” with the Department of Defense’s decision to fire the captain of the USS Roosevelt aircraft carrier.
Capt. Brett Crozier was fired earlier this week after sending a letter begging the U.S. Navy for support after more than 100 of his sailors became infected with the coronavirus. Footage showed his sailors cheered for Crozier as he was being dismissed. Trump, however, criticized the captain for choosing to make a stop in Vietnam earlier this year, saying it was an irresponsible exposure.
“I thought it was terrible what he did,” Trump said of the letter. (RELATED: Navy Fires Aircraft Carrier Commander Who Begged For Help Over Coronavirus Cases)
Trump clarified that he didn’t personally make the decision and that he had left it up to Defense Secretary Mark Esper, but said he agreed with the result.
As of Saturday, more than 200,000 people have signed a petition on Change.org calling for Trump to reinstate the captain.
“Captain Crozier was unjustly relieved of duty of the air craft carrier CVN-71 USS Theodore Roosevelt on April 2nd 2020,” the petition says. “His crime was asking for help regarding the safety of his crew when a covid-19 outbreak [sic].” (RELATED: ‘Sailors Do Not Need To Die’: Captain Of Aircraft Carrier With Coronavirus Cases Begs Navy For Help)
“His actions possibly saved many lives,” it continued. “Although he was fired, his plan to safely remove crew members was still implemented. He is a hero who should be rewarded.”