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Acting Navy secretary resigns after 'stupid' and 'naive' comment

President Trump signaled he would get involved in the controversy

Updated: April 7, 2020 - 9:26pm

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Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly resigned Tuesday amid the backlash he created by publicly calling an ex-naval captain "stupid' and "naive" for apparently making public a coronavirus outbreak on his aircraft carrier. 

Modly last week dismissed Capt. Brett Crozier, commander of the USS Roosevelt ,after his complaint to Navy brass about the outbreak became public. On Monday, Modly, in an address to the carrier crew, said Crozier was either "too stupid" or "too naive" to have let his complaint to higher-ups become public.

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper announced the appointment of Army Undersecretary Jim McPherson to serve as the acting Navy Secretary, noting in a statement that Modly "resigned on his own accord."


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