White House doctor Ronny Jackson withdraws from VA nomination

by Sophie Craig April 27, 2018, 0:53
White House doctor Ronny Jackson withdraws from VA nomination

Jackson had met with White House officials Wednesday evening, a senior official says, according to CBS News' Major Garrett, but did not discuss withdrawing his nomination.

Dr. Ronny Jackson, the White House physician tapped by President Donald Trump to head the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs, withdrew his nomination on Thursday amid a flurry of allegations against him, including being drunk on the job and improperly doing out prescription drugs.

Veteran advocates and many lawmakers also had expressed concerns about Jackson's lack of management experience, and some have anxious that he would capitulate to President Trump's goal of outsourcing more veteran services.

The claims showed a pattern of recklessly prescribing drugs along with drunken behavior that includes crashing a government vehicle while intoxicated and doling out such a large supply of a prescription opioid that staffers thought the drugs were missing.

Multiple individuals cited the nickname "Candyman" for Jackson because he would provide whatever prescriptions they wanted without paperwork, the release said.

But Short also suggested Tester was airing the allegations for political gain. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., to postpone the nominee's scheduled hearing this week before the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs.

Both Republican and Democratic politicians were wary of Trump's appointment of Jackson due to Jackson's lack of experience and his belief in the privatization of VA services. All of which Jackson denied.

Tester said the allegations were compiled in conversations with 23 colleagues and former colleagues, most of whom are still in the military. These are false. They are trying to destroy a man.

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White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also defended Jackson, saying the nominee had gone through a "thorough vetting process" that included four background investigations, the most recent taking place during the Trump administration. Jon Tester, who headed the committee report and is running for re-election.

He announced in a statement on April 26 that in light of the uproar about his alleged past indiscretions while serving as the White House physician, he would no longer like to be under consideration to be the head of the Veteran Affairs department. As he left, Jackson told reporters, "Look forward to talking to you guys in the next few days", a CNN White House reporter said.

Trump, speaking on "Fox and Friends", blamed Jackson's withdrawal on obstructionist Democrats angry that his pick for secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, was headed for confirmation. Added Trump, "I think Jon Tester has a big price to pay".

Tester said Thursday he wants the president to nominate someone who will "push back against the folks who are going to privatize the VA".

"Not only does Adm. Jackson lack the management experience necessary to successfully lead the 360,000-person, almost $200 billion federal agency, it is apparent there are also serious questions about his character and job performance", Walz also said.

According to a two-page summary of the interviews released by the panel's staff, the White House medical unit had "questionable record keeping" for the medications it was distributing under Jackson's leadership.

There's no word yet who Trump will choose to replace Jackson, but he said he has a name in mind and his next nominee will have more political experience than Jackson.


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