Ronny Jackson, Trump’s pick for veterans affairs secy, withdraws nomination
When Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) chief Mike Pompeo's nomination for the post of US secretary of state faced a stiff resistance from the Democrats, US President Donald Trump faced yet another blow as another of his pick for an official post withdrew his nomination after several allegations came up against his conduct.
Dr Ronny Jackson, Trump's choice for the post of Veterans Affairs secretary, though denied the allegations that he drank on the job and handed out prescription improperly, yet decided to withdraw his name from the race saying the controversy was distracting Trump. He was also accused of damaging a government vehicle in inebriated condition - a charge which he denied.
Jackson, a 50-year-old rear admiral said the allegations against him were fabricated and if they were really true, he would not have served in an important role as the physician to three American presidents for over a decade. Jackson wrote this in a statement which was issued early Thursday, April 26.
However, Jackson continued to be in the White House and the latter said the former is a doctor in the US Navy assigned to the White House reported to work as usual.
Trump also defended Jackson, who served presidents George W Bush and Barack Obama besides Trump, saying the allegations brought against him were not proved and lashed out at the opponents saying they wanted to "destroy" Jackson.
Trump was particularly critical of Jon Tester, the Democratic senator from Montana who has resisted Jackson's nomination, saying the latter would have to "pay a big price" in Montana where he will seek a re-election in November this year. The north-western state of Montana had gone to the Republican president in the 2016 election by a big margin.
Trump expressed his views on the Jackson episode on Fox News's "Fox & Friends" on Thursday morning.
Trump picked Jackson in March after firing David Shulkin who came under scanner for alleged violation of ethics and opposing privatising veterans' health care. Undersecretary of Defence for Personnel and Readiness Robert Wilkie has been the interim head of the Veterans Affairs.