Trump’s VA Pick Withdraws, Calls Drinking And Pill-Pushing Stories ‘False Allegations’

news

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."

Related:Ronny Jackson Was Allegedly Known As ‘Candy Man’ For Doling Out Prescriptions. He’ll Fit Right In At The VA »

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Though he has withdrawn his name as the nominee for the top post at the VA, Jackson refuted the allegations detailed by Tester’s office, many of which came from accounts made by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."

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

Two military bases in Florida and one in Arizona will see heat indexes over 100 degrees four months out of every year if steps aren't taken to reduce carbon emissions, a new study warns.

Read More Show Less

This Veterans Day, two post-9/11 veterans-turned congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation to have a memorial commemorating the Global War on Terrorism built on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Read More Show Less

Between 500 and 600 U.S. troops are expected to remain in Syria when all is said and done, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley said on Sunday.

Milley's comments on ABC News' "This Week" indicate the U.S. military's footprint in Syria will end up being roughly half the size it was before Turkey invaded Kurdish-held northeast Syria last month.

Read More Show Less
Democratic presidential candidate South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks during a fund-raising fish fry for U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-Iowa), Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, at Hawkeye Downs Expo Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (Associated Press/Charlie Neibergall)

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — On Veterans Day, Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg is proposing a "veteran-centric" Department of Veterans Affairs that will honor the service of the men and women of the military who represent "the best of who we are and what we can be."

Buttigieg, who served as a Navy intelligence officer in Afghanistan, said service members are united by a "shared commitment to support and defend the United States" and in doing so they set an example "for us and the world, about the potential of the American experiment."

Read More Show Less
Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks during a Climate Crisis Summit with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (not pictured) at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S. November 9, 2019. (Reuters/Scott Morgan)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders promised on Monday to boost healthcare services for military veterans if he is elected, putting a priority on upgrading facilities and hiring more doctors and nurses for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

To mark Monday's Veterans Day holiday honoring those who served in the military, Sanders vowed to fill nearly 50,000 slots for doctors, nurses and other medical professionals at facilities run by Veterans Affairs during his first year in office.

Sanders also called for at least $62 billion in new funding to repair, modernize and rebuild hospitals and clinics to meet what he called the "moral obligation" of providing quality care for those who served in the military.

Read More Show Less