Jackson Won’t Return As Trump’s Personal Physician, Report Says
Sunday, April 29, 2018
Updated at 10:46 a.m. ET
Dr. Ronny Jackson, a Navy rear admiral who abandoned his nomination to be secretary of Veterans Affairs amid numerous allegations, will not return to the job of President Trump's personal physician, according to Politico.
Jackson, however, will remain on the White House medical staff, Politico reported on Sunday. NPR has not independently confirmed the report.
The White House has pushed back on Politico's report but declined to clarify Jackson's role.
"Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson is currently on active duty, assigned to the White House as Deputy Assistant to the President. Despite published reports, there are no personnel announcements at this time," principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah said in a statement Monday.
Sean Conley, a Navy officer who took over for Jackson as the president's personal doctor last month, will continue in the role, two senior administration officials told Politico.
On Thursday, Jackson withdrew from consideration for the VA post amid allegations he had fostered a hostile work environment and behaved improperly while serving as the top doctor leading the White House medical unit.
In a written statement, Jackson said, "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."
On Wednesday, Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., the ranking member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee released a two-page statement detailing allegations against Jackson from 23 unnamed individuals.
In an interview Tuesday with NPR's All Things Considered, Tester said committee staffers "were told stories where he was repeatedly drunk while on duty where his main job was to take care of the most powerful man in the world.
Tester, speaking to other media outlets, acknowledged that not all the allegations had been verified, but said they should be investigated.
The White House released records that it says show the allegations were not true. The Secret Service said it has found no evidence of an alleged car accident involving drunken driving, one of the claims released by Tester.
On Saturday, Trump called on Tester to resign. In a tweet, the president declared the allegations against Jackson "not true."
"There were no such findings," Trump tweeted. "A horrible thing that we in D.C. must live with, just like phony Russian Collusion. Tester should lose race in Montana. Very dishonest and sick!"
Tester is up for re-election in November, in a state Trump won handily in 2016.
The VA is awaiting its fourth Secretary in four years. A former Pentagon official, Robert Wilkie, has been acting secretary since David Shulkin was fired in March after an 87-page report by the VA's inspector general found he had misused taxpayer funds while on an official trip to Europe.
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