President Donald Trump has backtracked on his own VA pick, Ronny Jackson, after the White House physician was accused of drinking at work, prescribing improper medicines and creating a hostile work environment.
Trump was majorly confused at a joint news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron that took place on Tuesday, where the commander-in-chief tried to defend his physician but also told him to not take up the job.
“I would definitely stand behind him,” he said. “I’d let it be his choice, but he’s a man who has just been an extraordinary person — his family, extraordinary success, great doctor, great everything, and he has to listen to the abuse? 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?” Trump added. “To be abused by a bunch of politicians that aren’t thinking nicely about our country? I really don’t think personally he should do it, but it’s totally his decision.”
On the other hand, Jackson is not willing to back down from his nomination. He was present on Capitol Hill meeting with senators, hoping for a confirmation.
Meanwhile on Capitol Hill, Veterans Affairs Secretary nominee Dr. Ronny Jackson told reporters “I can answer the questions absolutely. I’m looking forward to rescheduling the hearing and answering everyone’s questions,” per @TheOtherKeppler— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) April 24, 2018
Jackson doesn’t have the relevant work experience required for the job, and hence his nomination was objected by many lawmakers. But to Trump, this pertinent issue is of no concern.
“As far as experience is concerned, the veterans administration, which is approximately 13 million people, is so big, you could run the biggest hospital system in the world and it’s small time compared to the veterans administration,” Trump said. “So nobody has the experience.”
Trump or his administration reportedly did not vet Jackson before the president made the big announcement for the physician to be the next VA secretary on Twitter.
And now, after discovering his latest allegations, the president wants him to quit his nomination.
President Donald Trump’s physician Doctor Ronny Jackson, who said the president’s mental and physical health was excellent, is now accused of being drunk on the job. The accusations against Trump’s VA pick also include improperly prescribing medicines.
These allegations can put his nomination in jeopardy. Jackson’s confirmation hearing was scheduled for Wednesday, but it was delayed by the Senate Panel to review these claims.
Republicans and Democrats on the panel were informed of Trump’s doctor’s misconduct at more than one time in his career, two sources told CNN. The allegations on the White House physician for creating a hostile work environment are also being reviewed.
According to one of the sources, “it’ll sink his nomination,” if proven true.
"All I can really tell you at this moment time is we are continuing the vetting process. We are working very hard at it. It's all hands on deck," said VA Committee ranking Democrat Jon Tester. He had requested for the hearing to be delayed.
The committee is doing their part to make sure Jackson was fit for the job, he said.
Jackson, a Navy Rear Admiral, who has been the head White House physician since 2013 and oversaw two of President Barack Obama's physicals, was nominated by Trump to replace former Veteran Affairs Secretary David Shulkin.
However, many lawmakers raised their voice against his nomination over concerns of his fitness to run the VA, which is the second largest government agency.
“There’s a need for very exacting and close scrutiny and vetting,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal. “And some questions that need to be answered. I’m not going to comment on any of the specifics, except to say we’re going to be doing very close and careful scrutiny,” he continued.
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