Trump’s VA pick withdraws amid allegations of misconduct

Donald Trump's White House may have missed a lot in its vetting process.

Ronny Jackson
Ronny Jackson, Trump's second pick to head the Department of Veterans Affairs, in March. CREDIT: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Ronny Jackson, Donald Trump’s personal White House physician and his nominee to be the next Secretary of Veterans Affairs, withdrew his name from consideration on Thursday morning.

According to documents from the Democratic members of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs, active and retired service members had accused Jackon of drinking on the job, created a toxic work environment, and inappropriately issuing prescriptions.

In a statement announcing his withdrawal, Jackson denied the claims against him. “I did not expect to have to dignify baseless and anonymous attacks,” he wrote.

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Donald Trump, who had sent conflicting signals about whether Jackson should proceed, called into Fox & Friends soon after the announcement and complained that “an incredible man, respected by President Obama [and] President Bush” had been mistreated by the Senate confirmation process with “false accusations,” as there is “no proof of this.” In a meandering statement, Trump also praised Jackson’s son, who he said is a “wonderful boy” who is a cadet at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Trump also threatened a “big price to pay” for Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), the top Democrat on the committee.

Senators on both sides of the aisle have expressed frustration with the White House’s insufficient vetting prior to Trump’s announcement of Jackson.

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Trump, who fired his first Secretary of Veterans Affairs last month, has struggled to keep his promises to reform the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs.