Trump administration's VA Secretary pick Ronny Jackson withdraws

Apr 29, 2018, 13:42
Trump administration's VA Secretary pick Ronny Jackson withdraws

President Donald Trump's choose to steer Veterans Affairs, Ronny Jackson, withdrew Thursday within the wake of late-surfacing allegations about overprescribing medicine and poor management whereas serving as a high White Home physician, saying the "false allegations" towards him have change into a distraction.

"The allegations against me are completely false and fabricated", Jackson, the 50-year-old White House physician, said in a statement.

In an announcement the White Home issued from Jackson, he mentioned he "didn't count on to need to dignify baseless and nameless assaults on my character and integrity".

Jackson said he withdrew his nomination as it's "become a distraction for this president".

Trump, speaking with Fox News, slammed the ranking member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee for leading the charge against Jackson, making it clear to his supporters that Tester's campaign for reelection in 2018 should be a focus after yet another one of his nominations went down.

In the Fox interview, Trump blamed Tester for Jackson's withdrawal and said Tester "has to have a big price to pay in Montana". Tester would have a "big price to pay" for his comments on Jackson, saying it's "going to cause him a lot of problems in his state".

The withdrawal - just the latest staffing upset in an administration rocked by a series of firings and resignations - came as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency was grilled by Congress over mounting ethical scandals.

Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana said Pruitt's behavior has begun to hurt Trump's credibility, as well as the Republican Party generally.

Based on conversations with 23 of Jackson's current and former colleagues at the White House Medical Unit, the summary said Jackson exhibited a pattern of recklessly prescribing drugs and drunken behaviour, including crashing a government vehicle while intoxicated and doling out such a large supply of a prescription opioid that staffers panicked because they thought the drugs were missing.

Almost two dozen current and former colleagues told Senate investigators that Jackson repeatedly drank on duty, has an "explosive" temper and garnered the nickname "candy man" among White House staff because of his prolific prescription practices. Dr. Jackson's better known as the guy who said Trump's cognitive health was so incredible, that he could "live to be 200" if he cut down on eating fast food.

"On at least one occasion, Dr Jackson could not be reached when needed because he was passed out drunk in his hotel room", according to a document released by Senator Jon Tester, a Democrat.

Trump, who was set to host a group of veterans at the White House on Thursday, said he has a new candidate with "political capabilities" for the job but did not announce his pick.

Jackson is continuing his duties as Trump's personal doctor, the White House confirmed.

A right-on-cue President Trump raged against these "false accusations" created to destroy "an incredible man". The accusations include "excessive drinking on the job, improperly dispensing meds", said one of the people familiar, who was granted anonymity to speak frankly about the situation.

The letter requested information about rumored Pentagon inspector general reports said to detail allegations into Jackson's conduct.

The leading person now under consideration for the VA post is former Rep. Jeff Miller, who chaired the House Veterans Affairs Committee before retiring past year, according to White House officials.

"The next secretary must have a commitment to reform a strained health care system and a willingness to stand up to special interests who want to privatize the VA", he said. Deputy VA Secretary Thomas Bowman is a former aide to Senate VA Committee Chairman Johnny Isakson of Georgia and has some bipartisan support, but he is not favored by the White House.

On both sides of the political aisle, senators had also expressed concern about a lack of proper vetting of the nomination by the White House.

Sanders said Wednesday that the allegations released by Tester's office are new.

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