Trump Wanted Captain Of Stricken Navy Carrier Fired

The Washington Post reports:

The sudden firing of Capt. Brett Crozier, the commanding officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, has created another unsettling moment for a country traumatized by the worsening pandemic — and for a Navy already rocked by President Trump’s remarkable intervention last year in disciplinary cases involving the elite Navy SEALs. Crozier’s crew cheered him as a hero as he walked alone down the gangway, leaving what will almost surely be his last command.

It isn’t clear what role Trump may have played in Crozier’s ouster. Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly told one colleague Wednesday, the day before he announced the move: “Breaking news: Trump wants him fired.” Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper apparently obtained White House approval for a preliminary investigation into Crozier’s conduct, a probe that Modly preempted with the firing.

USA Today reports:

President Donald Trump defended the firing of Navy Capt. Brett Crozier during a coronavirus task force press conference Saturday afternoon, calling Crozier’s letter asking for help for the sailors of the USS Theodore Roosevelt “not appropriate.”

Trump said he did not make the decision to fire Crozier, but he disagreed with Crozier’s actions and suggested the captain was at fault for the coronavirus infections on board the aircraft carrier for docking the ship in Vietnam.

“Perhaps you don’t do that in the middle of a pandemic,” Trump said, adding the letter was “not appropriate” and “he shouldn’t be talking that way in a letter.”