Just days after his nomination, President Trumps pick to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs might be dropping out.
President Trump nominated White House physician Dr. Ronny L. Jackson to fill the post. However, the backlash might keep Jackson from ever getting to the position.
The investigation into Jackson during his consideration for the position has led to accusations that he oversaw a hostile work environment, improperly dispensed prescription drugs, and possibly drank while on the job.
Despite these accusations, the president still is in full support of Jackson, saying in a press conference on Tuesday that he believed Jackson is “one of the finest people that I have ever met,” in what was a huge show of public support. However, he also insinuated Jackson might soon withdraw from the nomination, because of the attacks.
“I don’t want to put a man through a process like this,” Mr. Trump said. “The fact is, I wouldn’t do it. What does he need it for?”
Unlike most of the contentions in Washington, the concerns about Jackson have been bipartisan. Questions were raised after Senate Veterans Affairs Committee interviews with more than 20 people, including current and former military personnel who had worked with Jackson.
The investigation began with Jackson’s work in the White House. After the 20 interviews were done with Jackson’s former and current associates, both Republican and Democratic leaders announced on Tuesday that they would be indefinitely postponing Jackson’s confirmation hearing, which originally was planned for today (Wednesday), “in light of new information presented to the committee.”
“We take very seriously our constitutional duty to thoroughly and carefully vet each nominee sent to the Senate for confirmation,” said Senators Johnny Isakson of Georgia, the committee chairman, and Jon Tester of Montana, its top Democrat, in a joint statement. “We will continue looking into these serious allegations.”
Jackson has given no indication he plans to withdraw. Even when speaking with Capitol Hill reporters before meeting with a Republican congressman on Tuesday, he only spoke positively about the possibility of his moving through the confirmation process.
“I’m looking forward to getting it rescheduled and answering everybody’s questions.”