Trump VA Nominee Jackson Steps Down Amid Allegations

Liz Carey

Washington, DC ( – The Trump Administration’s nominee to head the Veterans Administration withdrew his name from consideration following allegations of misconduct in his role as White House physician.

Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson announced Thursday morning that he would withdraw from the nomination. The announcement came after the Senate Military Affairs Committee postponed his confirmation hearing indefinitely after nearly two dozen current and former coworkers came forward with allegations that Jackson drank excessively and mishandled prescription medications.

Jackson, in his announcement, denied all of the allegations.

“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,” Jackson said in a statement Thursday morning. “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.”

Since Tuesday, former coworkers and Senators have come forward with disturbing allegations that Jackson was drunk on the job on numerous occasions, including one incident where administration staffers found him passed out in a hotel room when he was needed to attend to a medical situation; that he routinely handed out medications “like candy,” including giving so many Percocets to one staffer that White House medical staff went into a panic trying to account for the missing medicine, and creating a “toxic” work environment.

Jackson, the White House physician over the Bush, Obama and Trump administrations, called the allegations a distraction.

“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,” Jackson said. “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.”

In a phone call to “Fox & Friends,” President Trump supported Jackson and derided Democratic Senator Jon Tester for publicizing the concerns about his nominee.

“They’re all false accusations,” Trump said. “They’re trying to destroy a man.”

Trump said during the phone call that he did have another nominee in mind for the position, but that he was not willing to release their name yet.

Trump also said no one was qualified to run the Veterans Administration.

“There are 13 million people in the VA,” he said. “You take the head of the biggest hospital and it still doesn’t come close to it. Nobody has experience running the VA.”

Jackson will remain in his position as White House Physician, the White House announced. As previously reported, the White House physician provides medical care to the President, his family and administration aides.