Biden says dismissal of aircraft carrier captain is 'close to criminal'

Democratic presidential candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden says voters should choose who nominates Supreme Court justice Trump, Biden will not shake hands at first debate due to COVID-19 Joe Biden should enact critical government reforms if he wins MORE said Sunday that the dismissal of the captain of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, who raised the alarm about a coronavirus outbreak on the aircraft carrier, is “close to criminal.”

The former vice president said on ABC’s “This Week” that Capt. Brett Crozier “stood up and said what had to be said” with his sailors “in danger” when he wrote a letter requesting help from Navy leaders, which ended up leaking to the media. 

“I think it’s close to criminal the way they’re dealing with this guy,” he said. 

“I think he should have a commendation rather than be fired,” he added. 

Crozier warned in the letter that there would be dire consequences if most of the crew did not evacuate. The Navy’s most recent update said 115 sailors on the ship have tested positive, amounting to 42 percent of all the Navy’s infections. 

The captain was relieved from duty last Thursday, with Navy Secretary Thomas Modly saying Crozier's letter panicked families of sailors and provided information about the ship to the country’s adversaries. 

“I have no doubt in my mind that Capt. Crozier did what he thought was in the best interest of the safety and well being of his crew. Unfortunately it did the opposite,” Modly said last week.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says voters should choose who nominates Supreme Court justice Trump, Biden will not shake hands at first debate due to COVID-19 Pelosi: Trump Supreme Court pick 'threatens' Affordable Care Act MORE called Crozier’s letter “inappropriate” during a press briefing Saturday.

"I thought it was terrible what he did, to write a letter," Trump said. "I mean, this isn't a class on literature. This is a captain of a massive ship that's nuclear powered, and he shouldn't be talking that way in a letter. He could call and ask and suggest."