Donald Trump said he could step into an internal US Navy dispute about a fired aircraft carrier commander who was fired by the service's top civilian official for raising concerns about coronavirus spreading through his crew.

"I don't want to destroy somebody for having a bad day," the commander in chief said of Captain Brett Crozier.

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly fired the commander of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt after a letter he wrote about the virus infecting his crew leaked to the San Francisco Chronicle.

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Mr Modly on Monday said the letters show Mr Crozier was too "stupid" to command such a massive war ship.

The president declined to comment on that, other than saying it was a "strong statement."

But he told reporters he is hearing "good things about both men," and might have little choice but to get involved.

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