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3 Apr, 2020 04:48

‘Not even a little bit!’ Trump sees no witch-hunt in US Navy firing Covid-19 whistleblower captain

‘Not even a little bit!’ Trump sees no witch-hunt in US Navy firing Covid-19 whistleblower captain

US President Donald Trump rejected claims that a recently sacked Navy captain was unfairly persecuted for blowing the whistle on an inadequate response to a Covid-19 outbreak on the USS Theodore Roosevelt, calling for evacuation.

Asked whether the aircraft carrier commander, Captain Brett Cozier, was being “punished” for sending a letter directly to senior officials urging them to save the lives of his crewmen, the president was dismissive.

“No, I don’t agree with that at all. We’re going to wait for a little while… but I don’t agree with that at all,” Trump told reporters at a White House briefing on Thursday.

Crozier was relieved of his command by the Pentagon earlier on Thursday, with the Navy insisting his letter, leaked to the media, had caused unnecessary “alarm.” While the captain was correct to raise concerns, he was out of line for disregarding the standard military pecking order, the Navy argued, adding that Crozier sent the message over a non-secure email service.

The missive took up a grave tenor, pleading with higher-ups to allow the warship’s thousands of crewmen to disembark to Guam after more than 100 sailors tested positive for the lethal illness. While the request was ultimately granted, at least partially, Crozier was nonetheless given the boot, a move the military said was in the “best interest of the Navy and nation.”

Also on rt.com Shooting the messenger? US Navy SACKS captain for ‘causing alarm’ with plea to save lives of Covid-19-stricken carrier crew

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