Nominee For VA Secretary Withdraws Amid Misconduct Claims
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson, the White House physician and President Trump's choice to be the next Veterans Administration secretary, withdrew his nomination for the appointment on Thursday amid questions about his behavior.
Jackson announced his withdrawal in a statement:
"One of the greatest honors in my life has been to serve this country as a physician both on the battlefield with United States Marines and as proud member of the United States Navy.
It has been my distinct honor and privilege to work at the White House and serve three Presidents.
Going into this process, I expected tough questions about how to best care for our veterans, but I did not expect to have to dignify baseless and anonymous attacks on my character and integrity.
The allegations against me are completely false and fabricated. 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.
In my role as a doctor, I have tirelessly worked to provide excellent care for all my patients. In doing so, I have always adhered to the highest ethical standards.
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.
While I will forever be grateful for the trust and confidence President Trump has placed in me by giving me this opportunity, I am regretfully withdrawing my nomination to be Secretary for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
I am proud of my service to the country and will always be committed to the brave veterans who volunteer to defend our freedoms."
Jackson was due to begin his confirmation hearings on Wednesday. But Sens. Jon Tester, D-Montana, and Johnny Isakson, R-Georgia, announced Tuesday that they would delay the hearing.
"The Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs is postponing the hearing to consider the nominee to be secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in light of new information presented to the committee," Isakson and Tester, who are respectively the top Republican and Democrat on the committee, said in a joint statement.
After reports surfaced Monday evening that there were serious complaints about Jackson's behavior, the White House issued a statement in support of their then-nominee.