WASHINGTON — Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly has resigned one day after a leaked audio showed him calling the ousted commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt “stupid” in an address to the ship’s crew.
The Navy 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.