Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly reportedly continued railing against the captain he fired after the captain raised concerns over the spread of COVID-19 on his ship.
In a transcript of remarks made to the USS Theodore Roosevelt crew and obtained by CNN Monday, Modly said that former Capt. Brett Crozier was either “too naive or too stupid” to be in command and accused him of purposefully leaking the memo he sent to Navy higher-ups about the dire COVID-19 infection rate on his ship.
“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 naïve or too stupid to be a commanding officer of a ship like this,” Modly said, according to CNN. “The alternative is that he did this on purpose.”
According to CNN, Modly also accused Crozier of committing a “betrayal.”
“And I can tell you one other thing: because he did that he put it in the public’s forum and it is now a big controversy in Washington, DC,” Modly said, according to CNN.
The New York Times reported Sunday that Crozier tested positive for COVID-19.
Earlier Sunday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper came to Modly’s defense by telling CNN that he supports his “very tough decision” to fire Crozier.
TPM reached out to the Department of Defense for comment. We will update this post if we hear back.
Listen to Modly’s remarks obtained by Task and Purpose below: