Another one of the “best people” goes down in flames in yet another Trump administration scandal. Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly resigned Tuesday after a tough talking address to the crew of the USS Roosevelt over the loudspeakers backfired pyrotechnically. In a profanity laced rant, he insulted Captain Brett Crozier and lectured his crew for cheering him when he left the ship. Listen to the whole thing below, if you haven’t heard this already. Modly says that Crozier was either “naive or stupid” and you’ll hear a crewman cry out in the background, “What the fuck?” To say that Modly misjudged the room is an understatement.
He also went on to warn sailors that they should not talk to the media because all journalists are biased and they will use information to embarrass the Navy and “embarrass you.”
“Imagine if every other CO also believed the media was a proper channel to air grievances with their chain of command under difficult circumstances,” he said. “We would no longer have a Navy. Not long after that, we would no longer have a country.”
Modly also blamed Crozier for creating a “big controversy in Washington” and making Modly’s life difficult by assuming the role of “a martyr CO, who wasn’t getting the help he needed.”
“If I could offer you a glimpse of the level of hatred and pure evil that has been thrown my way, my family’s way over this decision, I would,” Modly went on to say. “But it doesn’t matter. It’s not about me. The former Vice President of the United States Joe Biden suggested just yesterday that my decision was criminal. I assure you that it was not. Because I understand the facts and those facts show that what your captain did was very, very wrong in a moment when we expected him to be the calming force on a turbulent sea.”
Joe Biden not only said Modly’s actions were criminal, Nancy Pelsoi called for him to resign. The Independent:
“Sadly, Acting Secretary Modly’s actions and words demonstrate his failure to prioritize the force protection of our troops,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. “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.”
It was not long before he did just that, with the Trump White House deciding this was one fight with Democrats it did not want to start.
The White House did not immediately name a permanent nominee, which would require Senate confirmation at a time when senators are back home, riding out the coronavirus pandemic. Mr Trump, who prefers “acting” secretaries, could opt to merely name another temporary top Navy civilian leader.
Just another one of Trump’s “best people” although, nobody is as bad as Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan. Remember him? He withdrew his nomination after it was reported he hit his wife with a baseball bat — and in self-defense no less. What, was he married to a gorilla?
When Trump was asked to comment on Modly’s characterization of Crozier as “naive or stupid” he called it a “strong statement.” Modly might have thought he was defending Trump by speaking thusly, but what he found out was that Trump will not hesitate to cut somebody loose if it’s in his best interests to do so, and apparently in this instance, it was.
Listen to the entire piece. Modly is a real piece of work. It’s amazing he even got to the level he did in the military, with this kind of contempt for a fellow officer, not to mention the tone-deafness with respect to the ship’s crew. This guy is no kind of a leader.