Top VA committee Dem on Jackson: 'We need to get to the bottom of these accusations'

Tester: White House called Jackson 'Candy Man'
Tester: White House called Jackson 'Candy Man'

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Tester: White House called Jackson 'Candy Man' 02:21

Washington (CNN)The top Democrat on the Senate Veterans Affairs committee says he was aware of allegations that Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, the White House physician, was intoxicated and banged on the hotel room door of a female employee.

Sen. Jon Tester, of Montana, told CNN Wednesday morning that it's one of the allegations his committee plans to investigate as it continues looking into Jackson, who is now Trump's nominee to become the next secretary of Veterans Affairs.
"It's one of the allegations that are out there," Tester told CNN's John Berman on "Newsroom." "There are many. It goes to the point that, you know, as a member of the Senate where our job is to vet and confirm, we need to be able to do our job and we need to get to the bottom of these accusations to find out if they're true."
He added, "We've confirmed it with the people who told us and, quite frankly, moving forward we just need to do more to find the sources, to finding it out."
    Four sources told CNN about the hotel incident. One source familiar with the allegation said the incident became so noisy that the Secret Service stopped him out of concern that he would wake then-President Barack Obama.
    Tester said the committee has spoken to some 20 retired and active members of the military about Jackson.
    On Tuesday, Tester told CNN's Anderson Cooper that others who have come forward alleged that Jackson would hand out prescriptions "like candy" on overseas trips, distributing Ambien and Provigil down the aisle of the airplane.
    Members of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee have been working through all of the allegations, but have not substantiated the claims, with little documentation available to corroborate them. The White House and Secret Service did not respond to requests for comment for that story.
    Tester said Tuesday that others had concerns about a toxic work environment.
    "We were told time and time again the people above him he treated like gold, the people below him, he belittled, screamed at them, really created a very toxic environment to the point where the people who worked around him felt like they had to walk on eggshells because of his lack of respect for his job," Tester said.
    The White House has continued to defend Jackson amid the allegations.
    Jackson's confirmation hearing has been postponed indefinitely, but Tester said Wednesday that he hopes to reschedule the hearing after the committee's investigation wraps up in a few weeks.