Trump's VA pick withdraws nomination
CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta says Dr. Ronny Jackson, who works in both the medical field and with the military, must adhere to a higher level of accountability — and the allegations made against him could put his job as a White House doctor at risk.
"When you have multiple hats to wear ��� military hat, medical hat, like he does — there’s a lot more accountability that comes with that. The level of accountability here is obviously higher and I think it might throw his fate into question even as the white house doctor."
He continued: "If these things are true and there was dispensing of some of these controlled substances, not in a very ethical way, whatever it may be, that’s going to raise a lot of concern, obviously, for him to stay on even as the White House doctor."
Though he may no longer be Trump's nominee to lead the VA, Dr. Ronny Jackson still has a job.
Press secretary Sarah Sanders said moments ago that he is at work today.
"Admiral Jackson is a doctor in the United States Navy assigned to the White House and is here at work today," she said.
President Trump says Sen. Jon Tester — who led the congressional oversight on Dr. Ronny Jackson’s now-failed nomination to lead the VA — should have a “big price to pay in Montana.”
Tester is up for re-election in a state the President won by more than 20 points in 2016. The senator was the most public critic of Jackson, including interviews with CNN and NPR.
“I think this is going to cause him a lot of problems in his state,” Trump said on Fox News Thursday morning.
Earlier this week, Tester said Jackson was known as "the candy man" inside the White House, citing reports from individuals who raised concerns about his nomination.
Dr. Ronny Jackson has faced multiple accusations of misconduct over the course of his career.
Democratic staff on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee released a document last night that included a list of allegations from the committee's conversations with nearly two dozen of Jackson's former and current colleagues made Jackson's chances at survival more uncertain.
Here's what those allegations are, according to the summary released by Senate Democrats, the contents of which remain under investigation by lawmakers and have not yet been substantiated:
- Jackson was allegedly "abusive" to his colleagues.
- He reportedly loosely handled prescription pain medications
- Jackson was allegedly periodically intoxicated, even once wrecking a government vehicle while drunk.
President Trump, speaking to Fox News this morning after Ronny Jackson's withdrawal, said he has another person in mind for the top job at Veterans Affairs.
Though he didn't go into detail, Trump said his next candidate is someone with “political capability.”
He did not expand on who that person may be.
President Trump called into Fox News this morning and said he was not surprised that Jackson withdrew.
"I even told him a day or two ago I saw where this was going," Trump said.
Now that Dr. Ronny Jackson has withdrawn his nomination, the White House have has big problem on their hands: who to replace him with.
Several officials tell CNN there is no plan B. The reason David Shulkin lasted for so long when he was on the verge of being fired was because the White House couldn’t settle on a suitable replacement, until President Trump picked the White House physician on a whim.
Several names were floated previously — Pete Hegseth, Rick Perry — but there is no obvious choice here.
They are right back where they started, one official says.
Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson just announced he has withdrawn as Trump's nominee to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Here's his full statement:
One of the greatest honors in my life has been to serve this country as a physician both on the battlefield with United States Marines and as proud member of the United States Navy. It has been my distinct honor and privilege to work at the White House and serve three Presidents.Going into this process, I expected tough questions about how to best care for our veterans, but I did not expect to have to dignify baseless and anonymous attacks on my character and integrity.The allegations against me are completely false and fabricated. If they had any merit, I would not have been selected, promoted and entrusted to serve in such a sensitive and important role as physician to three presidents over the past 12 years. In my role as a doctor, I have tirelessly worked to provide excellent care for all my patients. In doing so, I have always adhered to the highest ethical standards.Unfortunately, because of how Washington works, these false allegations have become a distraction for this President and the important issue we must be addressing – how we give the best care to our nation’s heroes.While I will forever be grateful for the trust and confidence President Trump has placed in me by giving me this opportunity, I am regretfully withdrawing my nomination to be Secretary for the Department of Veterans Affairs. I am proud of my service to the country and will always be committed to the brave veterans who volunteer to defend our freedoms.
Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson has withdrawn as President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, he said in a statement Thursday morning.
His nomination was hampered by a flurry of allegations about Jackson's professional conduct.