At the Monday coronavirus briefing President Trump was asked about the recent controversy surrounding the firing U.S. Navy Captain Brett Crozier. Crozier was the commander of the carrier U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt,
The president said he is good at “settling arguments” and that he did not want to destroy the career of a good naval officer, the president had read Crozier’s personnel file, because he had “a bad day.” Trump hinted he could work out the situation and save Crozier’s career by talking to all involved.
The president had earlier backed Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly’s decision to fire Crozier. Trump said the carrier skipper “shouldn’t be talking that way in a letter. I thought it was terrible what he did.”
Crozier was relieved of command for leaking a letter to media outlets. In the missive he criticized the Navy’s approach to fighting the coronavirus aboard his ship. By leaking that letter he went outside the military chain of command, showed panic, and made potential enemies aware of the situation onboard the ship. Certainly “a bad day.”
Though the Navy Secretary himself went too far in an address to the crew of the carrier after the firing. In it he called Crozier “naive and stupid.” He had to quickly backtrack from those words, “Let me be clear, I do not think Captain Brett Cozier is naive nor stupid. I think, and always believed him to be the opposite. We pick our carrier commanding officers with great care. Captain Crozier is smart and passionate.”
Modly said he was sorry for any “confusion this choice of words may have caused.”
Earlier he had defended his position on the firing, “I did not come to this decision lightly. I have no doubt in my mind [Capt.] Crozier did what he thought was in the best interest [of] the safety and well being of his crew. Unfortunately, he did the opposite.”
Democrats are trying to make political hay out of the situation. But the president’s moderate stance should negate their effort.