Apr 7, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Pelosi calls for removal of acting Navy secretary

Pelosi.
Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday called for the firing or resignation of acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly, following his decision to relieve Capt. Brett Crozier from his command of the USS Theodore Roosevelt last week.

Why it matters: Pelosi said Modly "showed a serious lack of the sound judgment and strong leadership" in firing Crozier, who wrote a letter pleading for help in battling a coronavirus outbreak onboard the ship. The letter was leaked to the press, leading to Crozier's ouster.

  • Modly apologized on Tuesday for an address he gave to the ship's crew after the firing, in which he said Crozier was "too naive or too stupid" to not realize the letter would leak.

What she's saying:

“Our oath of office is to protect and defend the Constitution, and therefore our first responsibility is to protect and defend the American people. To that end, our priority is force protection of our men and women in uniform who sacrifice to keep Americans safe. That is exactly what Captain Crozier was doing when he called for help for the men and women in his charge. 
Sadly, Acting Secretary Modly’s actions and words demonstrate his failure to prioritize the force protection of our troops. He showed a serious lack of the sound judgment and strong leadership needed during this time. Acting Secretary Modly must be removed from his position or resign.”
— Nancy Pelosi statement
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