Courtesy of NYT:

The U.S. Navy’s top civilian excoriated the fired commander of the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt to its crew on Monday as the sailors huddled on the island of Guam amid a coronavirus outbreak among their ranks, according to a transcript that was leaked online Monday. The New York Times has obtained an audio recording that supports the transcript’s authenticity.

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas B. Modly addressed the crew of the aircraft carrier on Monday afternoon via the ship’s internal loudspeaker system. In a profane and defensive address that one crew member described in an interview as “whiny, upset, irritated, condescending,” Modly took repeated shots at the integrity of Capt. Brett E. Crozier, who was removed from command last week, and eventually injected partisan political tones into the address by attacking former Vice President Joe Biden, who has repeatedly criticized Crozier’s removal.

Modly’s visit to the aircraft carrier, which is currently pierside in the U.S. territory of Guam, followed the firing on Thursday of Crozier after an email he wrote seeking further help for his stricken crew was leaked to The San Francisco Chronicle.

Modly said Crozier was “too naïve or too stupid to be a commanding officer” if he thought that letter wasn’t going to leak. “The alternative is that he did this on purpose,” Modly added.

As you might imagine that did not go over well with the sailors on that ship, or the public at large.

Courtesy of Business Insider:

Lawmakers are demanding that acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly either resign or be fired for his remarks to the crew of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, a ship with a serious coronavirus outbreak that just lost its captain.

A handful of Democratic lawmakers have called for Modly, who was appointed by President Donald Trump after the former Navy secretary was forced to resign, to step down or be fired.

In a statement on Monday, Virginia Rep. Elaine Luria, a Navy veteran, wrote, “Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly’s remarks to the crew show that he is in no way fit to lead our Navy through this trying time. Secretary Esper should immediately fire him.”

Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who is a Marine veteran, said, “Modly should be removed unceremoniously for these shocking remarks — especially after failing to protect sailors’ safety & health. He has betrayed their trust.” He also called for a Department of Defense Inspector General investigation.

At first Modley was defiant, but then he saw the writing on the wall and apologized.

Courtesy of CNN:

Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly apologized Monday night for calling the now-ousted commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt “stupid” in an address to the ship’s crew Monday morning.

“Let me be clear, I do not think Captain Brett Crozier is naïve nor stupid. I think, and always believed him to be the opposite,” Modly said in his statement. “We pick our carrier commanding officers with great care. Captain Crozier is smart and passionate. I believe, precisely because he is not naive and stupid, that he sent his alarming email with the intention of getting it into the public domain in an effort to draw public attention to the situation on his ship. I apologize for any confusion this choice of words may have caused.”

Modly also apologized directly to Crozier for “any pain my remarks may have caused.”

Yeah, I don’t really buy this apology.

I think he was forced to make it to save face, and that what he really meant was exactly what he said to those sailors on the aircraft carrier.

This is just your daily reminder that Donald Trump is not just a terrible president, but that he only chooses to work with those who are equally terrible.