US President Donald Trump said that he might be able to resolve the ongoing crisis in the Navy after its top civilian ridiculed former commander of Brett Crozier over the high-profile leak. Speaking at the White House briefing, Trump said that he is good at settling arguments and may look into the issue.
“You have two good people and they're arguing... I'm good at settling these arguments. So I may look into it in great detail, in detail and I'll be able to figure it out very fast," Trump told the media briefing.
However, Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced that he has accepted the resignation of Thomas Modly, the acting secretary of US Navy, following the controversy related to USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier. Esper said in a statement that Modly 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.
Modly's resignation came five days after he fired Crozier, the USS Theodore Roosevelt's captain, for leaking a letter that alleged the Pentagon was not paying adequate attention to the situation of COVID-19 outbreak on Roosevelt. Following the leak, Modly accused him of betrayal and called him “too naive or too stupid” in a surprise speech to the crew members of Roosevelt.
The letter by Crozier was leaked and published in the San Francisco Chronicle following which Esper and Modly called it a deliberate action and that it violated Pentagon's chain of command. In the letter, Crozier had described the dire situation on Roosevelt and wrote that it was not a war zone and sailors do not need to die.
Esper also announced the appointment of current Army Undersecretary Jim McPherson as acting Secretary of the Navy. “Jim is a retired Admiral with a distinguished 26-year naval career, serving ashore, afloat, and overseas during his time in uniform. Jim will serve as acting Secretary of the Navy until a permanent Navy Secretary is confirmed,” said the Defense Secretary in a statement.
(Image Credit: AP)