President Donald Trump’s nominee to take over as secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs withdrew his name from consideration Thursday morning.
Navy Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson already had his confirmation hearing postponed, following allegations that he misused his position to prescribe pharmaceuticals and that he was repeatedly intoxicated at work. This came just two days after Trump publicly gave Jackson the option to drop out of the confirmation process.
Here’s what you need to know about Jackson’s withdrawal
In the past few days, Jackson has been hit by a flurry of allegations. These allegations were being investigated by the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. As of now, these are all allegations and not confirmed, and Jackson denies them. Here are just a few:
- A nurse claimed she saw him writing prescriptions to himself
- He allegedly loosely prescribed pain medication
- He was allegedly repeatedly drunk while at work
- He reportedly got drunk and “wrecked a government vehicle” at a Secret Service going away party
- Co-workers complained that he created a “toxic” work environment
Jackson released a statement via the White House on Thursday morning that read, in part: “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.”
Trump gave Jackson the option of dropping out
On Tuesday, Trump said, “I said to Dr. Jackson, ‘What do you need it for?’ So we’ll see what happens. I don’t want to put a man through a process like this. It’s too ugly and too disgusting. So we’ll see what happens. He’ll make a decision.”
Trump stated that the final decision would be left up to the doctor but wondered why Jackson would submit himself to “abuse.”
“He’s a man who has just been an extraordinary person,” the president said. “His family, extraordinary success, great doctor, great everything, and he has to listen to the abuse that he has to. I wouldn’t, if I were him — actually, in many ways I’d love to be him — but the fact is, I wouldn’t do it. I wouldn’t do it. What does he need it for?”
Jackson has worked in the White House since 2006.
In 2013, under President Barack Obama, he was promoted to physician to the president.
President Trump nominated Jackson to be VA Secretary on March 28 after firing former VA Secretary David Shulkin. This came shortly after Jackson gave Trump a glowing review following a routine physical examination. Jackson said that Trump was in “excellent” health, “mentally very sharp,” and that he had “good genes.”