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Ronny Jackson withdraws nomination for VA secretary

Ronny Jackson withdraws nomination for VA secretaryā€¯

Jon Tester to resign after he alleged the president's pick for secretary of Veterans Affairs had a dubious record of prescribing and drunk driving.

President Donald Trump on Friday continued to fume over Ronny Jackson's failed bid to become the next Veterans Affairs secretary, labeling the allegations that tanked Jackson's nomination as false and politically motivated. President Trump said the two spoke for more than an hour to help the President prepare for his meeting with the North Korean president.

During a television interview just minutes after Jackson's statement, Trump said he had another candidate to lead the Veterans Affairs Department in mind but would not provide a name.

"He would have done a great job, he has a tremendous heart", Trump said.

"You get to the bureaucracy, the Department of Veteran Affairs in Washington D.C., and it's hard for any secretary it seems to me to lead that bureaucracy", he said.

The Democratic staff on the committee considering Jackson's nomination also claimed Jackson had doled out such a large supply of a prescription opioid that staffers panicked because they thought the drugs were missing.

Tester did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trump effusively praised Jackson in the phone interview in a way he did not when given the opportunity at a news conference earlier this week. The president asserted in response to the allegations that ruined Jackson'there's no proof of this

The Secret Service statement went on to say, "Rear Admiral Jackson, in his role as the official White House Physician, has provided years of dedicated support to the men and women of the Secret Service, often miles from home and under hard travel conditions, in order to ensure our personnel are healthy and prepared to execute our critical mission". "The Secret Service has no such record of any incident; specifically, any incident involving Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson".

The Secret Service also challenged a CNN report that said Jackson had to be stopped by agents during an overseas trip for banging on a White House staffer's hotel room door, over concerns that the noise might disturb then-President Barack Obama. "A thorough review of internal documents related to all Presidential foreign travel that occurred in 2015, in addition to interviews of personnel who were present during foreign travel that occurred during the same time frame, has resulted in no information that would indicate the allegation is accurate".

Trump selected Jackson, a rear admiral in the Navy, to head the VA last month after abruptly firing former Obama administration official David Shulkin following an ethics scandal and mounting rebellion within the agency.

"I've had it happen to me with the Russian collusion hoax", he said.

Jackson has denied the accusations, calling them "baseless and anonymous attacks" on his character and integrity that are 'completely false and fabricated'.

He says that includes "some very political people" who might handle things differently.



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