Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly apologized on Monday night after he attacked now-former Navy Captain Brett Crozier and called him “naive and stupid” for writing a memo to Navy leadership detailing concerns about protecting his crew on the USS Theodore Roosevelt from COVID-19.
However, Modly still took a shot at Crozier for writing the email in the first place.
“Let me be clear, I do not think Captain Brett Crozier is naive nor stupid. I think, and always believed him to be the opposite,” Modly said in an official statement.
But then the acting secretary repeated his previous accusation that Crozier had purposefully written the memo to make sure his concerns were leaked to the public.
“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 on his ship,” Modly said.
He apologized to Crozier, his family, and the ship’s crew for “any pain my remarks may have caused.”
After firing Crozier over the email last week, Modly ranted about the captain to the USS Theodore Roosevelt crew.
“If he didn’t think, in my opinion, that this information wasn’t going to get out to the public, in this day and information age that we live in, then he was either A, too naive or too stupid to be a commanding officer of a ship like this,” said the acting Navy secretary said. “The alternative is that he did this on purpose.”