UPDATE: Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has accepted the resignation of Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly for criticizing an aircraft carrier captain who pleaded for help during a coronavirus outbreak aboard his ship.
“He resigned on his own accord, putting the Navy and the sailors above self so that the USS Theodore Roosevelt, and the Navy as an institution, can move forward,” Esper wrote in a Tuesday statement. “I have the deepest respect for anyone who serves our country, and who places the greater good above all else. Secretary Modly did that today, and I wish him all the best.”
The Navy’s top civilian Thomas Modly has submitted his resignation 24 hours after leaked audio showed him calling the dismissed captain of the USS Theodore Roosevelt “stupid” and “naïve.”
The speech was reportedly poorly received by the ship’s crew. (CNN)
The Navy and Department of Defense did not respond to a request for comment.
Modly’s Monday morning remarks to the crew prompted sailors to yell back in frustration, President Donald Trump to say he might “get involved” in the matter, and Defense Secretary Mark Esper to order Modly to apologize, two US officials tell CNN.
The acting Navy secretary issued his late-night about-face apology Monday evening, just hours after he defended his comments to the aircraft carrier’s crew. But Modly’s belated declaration that he does “not think Captain Brett Crozier is naïve nor stupid” was not enough to protect his job.
This story is developing. Stay with American Action News for the latest updates.