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WH Doubles Down Support For Jackson, Who Vows To Continue With Confirmation

27 April, 2018, 01:20 | Author: Ted Wilson
  • White House physician Ronny Jackson speaks to reporters during a White House briefing in Jnauary

He suggested several more times that Jackson, who's now the White House physician, shouldn't bother with subjecting himself to scrutiny from lawmakers and journalists, concluding, "If I were him, I wouldn't do it". However, recent information has surfaced about allegations of "improper conduct" during his career that has Congress saying, "not so fast".

Trump said at a press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron Tuesday that if he were Jackson he would withdraw under the circumstances but nonetheless defended him. But as president, the result is a growing list of Cabinet secretaries and other officials who do not appear to undergo the rigorous scrutiny typically expected for White House hires.

Mr Trump praised the White House physician on Tuesday as "one of the finest people I have ever met", but also acknowledged his nominee's "lack of experience".

His confirmation hearing, originally scheduled for Wednesday, was indefinitely postponed.

Andy Puzder, Trump's initial choice to lead the Labor Department, stepped aside before his confirmation hearings, in part over taxes he belatedly paid on a former housekeeper not authorized to work in the United States.

"I just think the White House does not vet their nominees so it leaves us as members having to look at their personal and leadership and other qualities", said Democratic Senator Patty Murray of Washington, a member of the Veterans' Affairs Committee. Additional information would corroborate or dismiss the claims presented.

Reports also alleged that the doctor would hand out pills like Provigil to wake them up, a prescriptive drug usually given to those with narcolepsy or sleep disorders.

The Montana Democrat told CNN's Anderson Cooper that around 20 people raised concerns to his committee about Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, and according to those people, Jackson would hand out prescriptions "like candy". Prior to Jackson's nomination, Trump had told aides and outside advisers that he was fond of Jackson personally and was said to be particularly impressed with Jackson's performance at the podium in January when he offered a glowing report on the president's physical and mental well-being. In one report, on an overseas trip, the doctor was allegedly so inebriated that he could not respond or function so someone else had to fill in for him. The situation was so disruptive that the #Secret Service had to stop him because he would've woken President Obama.

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The senior White House official's message took on both allegations.

Ok, so it's not just the drinking and passing out narcotics, there's more.

Whistleblowers and investigators said Jackson had fostered a hostile work environment during the time he was involved in a power struggle with Dr. Jeffrey Kuhlman over the White House medical unit.

The two men clashed on a couple of fronts and when a command climate survey was done to assess the workplace, staffers said the two captains "bickered like two parents going through a bitter divorce".

An administration official suggested the complaints may be fallout from Jackson's rivalry with another doctor in the White House Medical Unit dating back to 2012.

The end of that story is, to the dismay of his coworkers, Jackson stayed, and was later promoted to Admiral under the Obama Administration.

Meanwhile, new details were emerging about the allegations against Jackson. In a CNN interview, Udall asserted that if the allegations are true, he doesn't have a chance and it's the agency that is leaderless and hurting. "He is a tremendous asset to the entire White House team", Obama wrote in 2015. She did not comment on the specific allegations against Jackson. He said he isn't sure when, or whether, the hearing might be rescheduled.

Asked whether he "categorically denied" the allegations against him, he said, "I'm looking forward to the hearings, so we can sit down and I can explain everything to everyone and answer all the senators' questions".



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