Navy Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson withdrew his name as President Donald Trump's nominee for Veterans Affairs secretary this morning in a White House press statement. The announcement comes after days of mounting criticism regarding Jackson's fitness to run the second largest federal agency.
"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 in the statement.
The problems for Jackson's nomination began early in the week; first his Senate confirmation hearing was indefinitely postponed, just a day before it was to take place on April 25. Then a flood of accusations about his tenure at the White House began pouring in. On Wednesday, the office of Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Veteran Affairs Committee, released a summary of the allegations levied against Jackson: They included contributing to a hostile work environment; infighting and power struggles with another White House physician; getting drunk on duty and wrecking a government vehicle; and an ad hoc policy toward dispensing pills, which reportedly earned Jackson the nickname "Candy man."
While he admitted he expected "tough questions" about his qualifications for running the VA — most of Jackson's professional career has been as a military physician, not an administrative head — the White House doctor said he "did not expect to have to dignify baseless and anonymous attacks on my character and integrity."
Immediately after Jackson publicly withdrew his nomination, President Trump told Fox & Friends during a call-in to the morning show that he’d expected the media furor. "I even told him a day or two ago I saw where this was going," Trump said, adding that the doctor's opponents were "trying to destroy a man... it's a disgrace."
Though he has withdrawn his name as the nominee for the top post at the VA, Jackson refuted the allegations detailed by Tester’s office, many of which came from accounts made by military personnel who served with Jackson.
"The allegations against me are completely false and fabricated," Jackson said in the statement. "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."
NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — An enlisted Navy SEAL sniper testified on Wednesday that Chief Eddie Gallagher told his platoon prior to their deployment that if they ever captured a wounded fighter, their medics knew "what to do to nurse them to death."
In early morning testimony, former Special Operator 1st Class Dylan Dille told a packed courtroom that he had heard the phrase during unit training before the men of SEAL Team 7 Alpha Platoon deployed to Mosul, Iraq in 2017.
A Navy SEAL sentenced to one year in prison for the death of Army Special Forces Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar is under investigation for allegedly flirting with Melgar's widow while using a false name and trying to persuade her that he and another SEAL accused of killing her husband were "really good guys," according to the Washington Post.
Army Staff Sgt. Albert Leon Mampre, who served during World War II with the famed Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division depicted in the HBO series 'Band of Brothers,' was laid to rest on June 15th, the Army announced
Mampre, who died on May 31 at 97 years old, was the last living medic from Easy Company, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. A number of soldiers assigned to his unit provided an honor guard for his funeral service.
In his seven months as legislative assistant to the commandant of the Marine Corps, Brig. Gen. Norman Cooling proved to be an abusive, bullying boss, who openly disparaged women, ruled through intimidation, and attempted to spread a rumor about a female officer after the Senate complained about him to the defense secretary, according to a Defense Department's Inspector General's Office investigation.
"The adjectives a majority of witnesses used to describe his leadership were abusive, bullying, toxic, abrasive, and aggressive,"a DoD IG report on the investigation into Cooling's conduct found. "Some subordinates considered him an 'equal opportunity offender,' disparaging men and women. BGen Cooling denied making some of the comments attributed to him, but more than one witness told us they heard him make each of the comments described in this section of our report."