Thomas Modly: Navy Secretary resigns after calling fired captain behind coronavirus letter 'stupid' and 'naive'

The acting US Navy secretary who fired an aircraft carrier commander for raising concerns about coronavirus spreading through his crew then called him "stupid" and "naive" in a profanity-laced speech to those sailors has resigned, the latest scandal to rock the Trump administration.

Donald Trump, the commander in chief, appeared to side with the ousted captain on Monday night, calling him a good man with stellar service record.

Thomas Modly came under fire from many sides after his handling of the matter, with top congressional Democrats calling for his resignation.

"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.

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