Trump's VA choice bows out in latest Cabinet flame-out

by Antonio Miles April 28, 2018, 19:40
Trump's VA choice bows out in latest Cabinet flame-out

Jon Tester of Montana, the senior Democrat on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.

Trump lambasted Sen. Jon Tester, D-Montana, over the two-page list of allegations compiled against Jackson, describing it as a "disgrace".

President Donald Trump's White House doctor reluctantly withdrew his nomination to be Veterans Affairs secretary Thursday in the face of accusations of misconduct, the latest embarrassing episode highlighting Trump's struggles to fill key jobs and the perils of his occasional spur-of-the-moment-decision-making. "The Secret Service is unable to confirm (in fact they deny) any of the phony Democrat charges which have absolutely devastated the wonderful Jackson family", Trump tweeted.

"Ronny Jackson is one of the finest men I've ever met", Trump said at a news conference alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He said "false allegations" against him have become a distraction. The president was said to have been captivated by his doctor's appearance in the White House briefing room, where, after Trump's physical, Jackson extolled Trump's fitness and cognitive acuity.

Asked whether Jackson will remain on the job as White House doctor, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, "Admiral Jackson is a doctor in the United States Navy assigned to the White House and is here at work today".

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The White House said on Friday it had looked through records of motor vehicle incidents involving government vehicles and found only three that involved Jackson.

The VA is without a secretary after the departure of David Shulkin, who Trump fired last month after an inspector general's report accused him of improperly accepting gifted tickets to a Wimbledon tennis match and accused members of his staff of altering documents to convince the federal government to pay for his wife's travel. "If they are true then there are much larger issues with the White House military office and the security clearance process". But Jackson, a surprise choice who has worked as a White House physician since 2006, faced immediate questions from Republican and Democratic lawmakers as well as veterans groups about whether he had the experience to manage the massive department of 360,000 employees serving 9 million veterans.

CNN reported earlier this week, on anonymous sourcing, that during an overseas trip in 2015 Jackson got drunk and belligerently banged on a female colleague's hotel door. But White House officials said it would be inconceivable for serious damage to a government vehicle to escape notice and not be recorded.

In a statement dated Thursday, the Secret Service said it had conducted a "thorough review" of internal documents related to Obama's foreign trips in 2015 and interviewed people who were present.

Moran says the people in the fields and VA hospitals in Kansas are usually veterans themselves, but things change as you head up the political ladder.


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