Trip that led to acting Navy secretary's resignation cost $243K: reports

Former Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly's trip to Guam where his speech to the crew of the USS Theodore Roosevelt eventually led to his resignation cost the Defense Department an estimated $243,000, according to multiple reports.

First reported by USA Today, Modly, who resigned Tuesday after audio and transcripts of his speech were leaked, traveled to Guam in a modified Gulfstream jet. The jet reportedly cost $6,946.19 per hour to fly. With roughly 35 hours of total air time, the cost of the trip comes out to just over $243,000.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday on Wednesday released a statement saying that the Navy needed to move forward after a "difficult" week for the military branch. 

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"The events of the past week have been difficult for our Navy and our nation. We will learn from them. But make no mistake, we are moving forward," Gilday said.

Last week, Moldly relieved Capt. Brett Crozier of his duties as commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt after Crozier wrote a letter pleading for help with a coronavirus outbreak on the ship that was leaked to the media.

In his speech, Modly defended his dismissal of Crozier, saying that the captain was "too stupid to be a commanding officer of a ship" like the Roosevelt if he didn't believe that his letter would leak.

After the audio was leaked, Modly apologized, saying in a Monday statement: "Let me be clear: I do not think Captain Brett Crozier is naive or stupid. I apologize for any confusion this choice of words may have caused."

Still, his speech caused several Democratic lawmakers, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), to call for his resignation.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper tweeted Tuesday afternoon that he had accepted Modly's resignation that morning. Esper also said in the tweet that he was tapping Army Undersecretary Jim McPherson as the next Acting Navy Secretary.