Democratic Virginia Rep. Elaine Luria called for Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly’s firing Monday after he bashed former Capt. Brett Crozier in a speech on board the USS Theodore Roosevelt.
Crozier was relieved of his duties after sending a letter begging the Navy to send resources and help to at least 100 sailors on board who have the novel coronavirus. Modly took a surprise trip to Guam, where the aircraft carrier is docked, and bashed Crozier to sailors on board the ship.
The transcript was obtained and first reported on by the Daily Caller.
“Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly’s remarks to the crew show that he is in now [sic] way fit to lead our Navy through this trying time. Secretary [of Defense Mark] Esper should immediately fire him,” Luria, a retired Navy officer, said Monday according to Politico’s defense reporter Connor O’Brien.
JUST IN: Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA), a retired Navy officer, calls for Modly’s job over his TR remarks:
“Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly’s remarks to the crew show that he is in now way fit to lead our Navy through this trying time. Secretary Esper should immediately fire him.”
— Connor O’Brien (@connorobrienNH) April 6, 2020
Modly suggested that Crozier was “perhaps too naive or too stupid to be a commanding officer of a ship like this.” Modly has since doubled down on his comments, saying that he stands “by every word I said” in a statement released Monday.
The spoken words were from the heart, and meant for them [the sailors],” according to Modly. “I stand by every word I said, even, regrettably any profanity that may have been used for emphasis.
Statement from Secretary Modly on comments on TR: pic.twitter.com/V0EDj9my5J
— David B. Larter (@DavidLarter) April 6, 2020
Sailors could be seen cheering Crozier after his dismissal last week, and an audio of part of Modly’s speech obtained by Task & Response indicated that it was not well received. (RELATED: USS Roosevelt Sailors Cheer In Support Of Fired Commander As He Exits The Coronavirus-Infected Ship)
“What the fuck?” at least one person said as Modly attacked Crozier, according to the audio.
The Navy did not respond to previous requests for comment from the Daily Caller.