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Nominee withdraws but remains White House doctor

29 April 2018

FDA reexamines safety of controversial Parkinson's drug MORE on Thursday pushed back against President TrumpDonald John TrumpFormer Watergate prosecutor: Trump taking the fifth would be political suicide Comey: I'm "embarrassed and ashamed" by Republican party Comey, Anderson Cooper clash over whether memo release violated Federal Bureau of Investigation rules MORE's prediction that the Montana Democrat would pay a political price for helping to defeat Trump's nominee to head the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Adm. Ronny Jackson.

VA Press Secretary Curt Cashour issued a statement this week maintaining that order has been restored in the top ranks of the agency under Acting VA Secretary Robert Wilkie, an undersecretary from the Department of Defense installed by Trump to run the VA after he fired the last secretary, David Shulkin. Rep. Tim Walz of Minnesota, the highest ranking Democrat on the House VA Committee, said "for the good of our nation's veterans", he should drop out "immediately".

The claims showed a pattern of recklessly prescribing drugs along with drunken behavior that includes crashing a government vehicle while intoxicated and doling out such a large supply of a prescription opioid that staffers thought the drugs were missing.

Jackson, a one-star Navy admiral whose tenure at the White House spans three administrations, has been criticized as too inexperienced to take on the monumental task of leading an organization comprising more than 360,000 employees.

In his statement of withdrawal, Jackson called the allegations against him "completely false and fabricated".

"I think Jon Tester has to have a big price to pay in Montana", he said. Apart from overseeing the White House medical staff, Jackson led a military trauma unit in Iraq, tending to troops who had suffered catastrophic wounds during one of the war's most violent stretches.

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Tester said that more than 20 people came forward with allegations about Jackson's conduct.

White House doctor Ronny Jackson is withdrawing from consideration as Veterans Affairs secretary.

Trump, who was set to host a group of veterans at the White House on Thursday, said he has a new candidate with "political capabilities" for the job but did not announce his pick.

In just a matter of days, the allegations have transformed Jackson's reputation as a celebrated doctor attending the president to an embattled nominee accused of drinking on the job and over-prescribing drugs. The Cabinet's only Obama-era holdover, Shulkin clashed with those in the administration who've sought an aggressive expansion of VA's Choice program, which allows veterans to seek health care from private providers at taxpayer expense.

Dan Caldwell, govt director of the conservative Involved Veterans for America, urged the White Home to take extra time "to fastidiously choose and vet a brand new nominee" who may head VA.

The "Candyman" nickname was also cited in the summary released by the Democrats. Jackson also allegedly routinely handed out prescription drugs to West Wing staff, including the opioid Percocet, the sleeping pill Ambien, and the stimulant Modafinil, given to senior White House officials on global trips.

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The allegations also referred to multiple incidents of Jackson's intoxication while on duty, often on overseas trips.

At a Secret Service going-away celebration, the abstract says, Jackson obtained drunk and wrecked a authorities automobile. On at least one occasion he was nowhere to be found when his medical help was needed because "he was passed out drunk in his hotel room", according to the summary.

Reports of overprescribing and alcohol-related behavior problems can jeopardize a doctor's license. Find a complete list of them here.

He had been due to have a Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday. The hearing was postponed indefinitely while the allegations against him are reviewed.

"He has obtained extra vetting than most nominees", she mentioned.

Jackson's nomination went into free fall as reports emerged that alleged Jackson led a hostile work environment, over-prescribed drugs and possibly drank on the job.

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Nominee withdraws but remains White House doctor