Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly’s channeled President Trump when he lashed out at the captain he fired for raising concerns over the spread of COVID-19 on his ship
Modly made headlines on Monday after CNN reported on his screed against former Capt. Brett Crozier, saying that the captain he ousted was either “too naive or too stupid” to be in command. Modly was addressing the crew of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, some of whom reportedly were shocked by the Navy official’s remarks.
Modly accused Crozier of purposefully leaking the memo he sent to Navy higher-ups about the dire COVID-19 infection rate on his ship.
In a statement to the New York Times, Modly defended his comments. “I stand by every word I said, even, regrettably any profanity that may have been used for emphasis,” he said.
Both Defense Secretary Mark Esper and President Trump recently defended Modly’s decision to fire Crozier. On Sunday, Esper told CNN that he supports Modly’s “very tough decision” to fire Crozier. Trump said that he thought the ousted Navy captain’s memo to crew members was “terrible.”
From media-bashing to blaming China for the spread of COVID-19 to addressing Joe Biden, here are some of the Trumpian quotes that Modly made during remarks to the USS Theodore Roosevelt crew regarding Crozier’s firing:
- “I’m gonna tell you something, all of you, there is never a situation where you should consider the media a part of your chain of command. You can jump the Chain of Command if you want and take the consequences, you can disobey the chain of command and take the consequences, but there is no, no situation where you to go the media. Because the media has an agenda and the agenda that they have depends on which side of the political aisle they sit and I’m sorry that’s the way the country is now but it’s the truth and so they use it to divide us and use it to embarrass the Navy. They use it to embarrass you.”
- “So think about that when you cheer the man of the ship who exposed you to that. I understand you love the guy. It’s good that you love him. But you’re not required to love him.”
- “That’s your duty. Not to complain. Everyone is scared about this thing. And let me tell ya something, if this ship was in combat and there were hypersonic missiles coming in at it, you’d be pretty fucking scared too. But you do your jobs. And that’s what I expect you to. And that’s what I expect every officer on this ship to do, is to do your jobs.”
- “If I could offer you a glimpse of the level of hatred and pure evil that has been thrown my way, my family’s way over this decision, I would. But it doesn’t matter. It’s not about me. The former Vice President of the United States Joe Biden suggested just yesterday that my decision was criminal. I assure you that it was not. Because I understand the facts and those facts show that what your captain did was very, very wrong in a moment when we expected him to be the calming force on a turbulent sea.”
- “The only reason we are dealing with this right now is a big authoritative regime called China was not forthcoming about what was happening with this virus and they put the world at risk to protect themselves and to protect their reputations.”
- “The [USS Theodore Roosevelt] has to demonstrate to the citizens back home that it has its act together and that it’s knocking down this virus just like it would knock down the Chinese or the North Koreans or the Russians if any one of those nations were ever so stupid enough to mess with the Big Stick because she thought she was vulnerable.”
Listen to Modly’s remarks obtained by Task and Purpose below: