Facing numerous questions about his past work record, White House physician Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson withdrew from consideration for VA Secretary on Thursday morning, calling a variety of claims about him, ‘false and fabricated.’
“If they had any merit, I would not have been selected,” Jackson said in a written statement. “I am regretfully withdrawing my nomination,” Jackson said in a written statement.
“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,” Jackson added.
Jackson’s nomination had been in peril all week, as allegations piled up against him, and his confirmation hearing on Wednesday had been postponed indefinitely.
The move came after President Trump had openly suggested earlier in the week that Jackson did not have to pursue the post.
“I even told him a day or two ago – I saw where this was going,” the President said in a telephone interview on “Fox and Friends.”
Even before questions were raised about incidents during his time as the White House physician, there were GOP Senators who were not pleased about the President’s choice for VA Secretary, wondering aloud about vetting procedures at the White House for top nominees.
“I don’t know whether that process is being short circuited now,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) earlier this week.
Lawmakers in both parties quickly said the President needed to find a VA nominee who was familiar with the troubles confronting the massive federal agency.
“The next VA Secretary must have the experience and commitment needed to continue that progress,” said Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN). “We owe it to those who have served our country.”
As for Jackson, he was at the White House on Thursday, at his regular job as the President’s physician.
“Admiral Jackson is a doctor in the United States Navy assigned to the White House and is here at work today,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.