- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 7, 2020

The most senior Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee said he agrees with Secretary of Defense Mark Esper’s decision to accept the resignation of acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly over his handling of the USS Theodore Roosevelt incident.

Mr. Modly “mishandled the situation,” Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island said in a Twitter message.

The now former acting Navy secretary flew to Guam after the crew of the USS Theodore Roosevelt gave Capt. Brett Crozier a rousing sendoff following Mr. Modly’s decision to remove him from his position. In a profanity-laced address to the ship’s crew over the public address system, Mr. Modly excoriated the veteran Navy officer as either “too naive or too stupid” to command an aircraft carrier.

Mr. Modly later walked back the criticism of Capt. Crozier but by then calls for his ouster had already begun.

In addition to concurring with Secretary Esper’s decision to accept the resignation, Sen. Reed also has called for an investigation.

“That includes an assessment of the actions of Navy leadership, both civilian and military, and what role — if any (the White House) played,” Sen. Reed said in his Twitter message.

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