Apr 26, 2018, 9:32 AM ET

Trump's VA secretary nominee Ronny Jackson withdraws

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President Donald Trump's embattled nominee to lead the Veterans Affairs Department, Dr. Ronny Jackson, is withdrawing his name from consideration.

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"While I will forever be grateful for the trust and confidence President Trump has placed in me by giving me this opportunity, I am regretfully withdrawing my nomination to be Secretary for the Department of Veterans Affairs," Jackson said in a statement issued by the White House this morning.

Jackson's nomination has been dogged in recent days by allegations that he improperly dispensed medications and that he wrecked a government vehicle after drinking at a Secret Service farewell party.

Jackson is the presidential physician, having served in the role since President George W. Bush's administration.

"It has been my distinct honor and privilege to work at the White House and serve three Presidents," 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."

Jackson, 50, goes on to rebut the allegations that have been leveled against him as "false and fabricated."

"The allegations against me are completely false and fabricated. If they had any merit, I would not have been selected, promoted and entrusted to serve in such a sensitive and important role as physician to three presidents over the past 12 years," he said.

In a morning interview with Fox News minutes after Jackson's withdrawal became official, President Donald Trump defended Jackson against what he said were all false allegations.

“He would have a done a great job,” Trump said. “Tremendous heart. These are all false accusations. These are false. They are trying to destroy a man.”

The president went on to suggest there will be a political price to pay for Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, whose office has been vetting Jackson and raising questions about the allegations against him.

“I want to tell you, Jon Tester, I think this is going to cause him a lot of problems in his state," Trump said. "For Jon tester to bring up stuff like candy man and kinds of things he was saying.

“Well, you know, these are statements that are made. There is no proof of this. I think Jon Tester has to have a big price to pay in Montana.”

With Jackson’s stepping aside, the president said he has someone in mind to fill the gap but wouldn’t reveal who except to say the person has political experience.

And though Jackson has withdrawn as the nominee to lead the V.A., White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said he is still on the job as the White House doctor.

"Admiral Jackson is a doctor in the United States Navy assigned to the White House and is here at work today," Sanders said in the statement.

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  • Jake the real Jake

    more like a case of Trump knowing he was a drunk and Trump being the master manipulator (of the weak & drunks) promised him an advancement for a favorable physical

  • james

    The Admiral should start updating his resume and begin seeking employment opportunities elsewhere. And he can forget that second star.

  • ruelph

    Under Trump 26 nominees have withdrawn, this is another example of poor leadership by Trump.

  • Derelict Donald

    after watching faux newz last night, donnie called up doc jackson and asked 'what is this quaalude thing cosby used all this time? you mean the women will let you do anything and not remember one bit? does it cost less than $130K a dose? wanna be my new fixer?'

  • Jack25

    How can Trump vet imigrants and visitors if he can’t even vet his appointees? Incompetent.

  • brickmette

    The ONLY worthwhile issue is that this unqualified man has withdrawn from VA consideration.
    Other than that, I wish him well, and don't need to hear another word about him.
    Fini.

  • molimelight

    Donald Trump: "When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history... you will not destroy America...America will triumph over you." ex-CIA chief John Brennan

  • Timehascome

    If this man isn't placed behind bars for his illegal activity with handing out Opioids...(+) Trumps **PRAISE FOR HIM**...then we can safely assume that Trumps "War On Opioids" is another one of Trumps famous...Smoke Screens.

    The -------> END!
    Do your job Jeff Sessions! Do your Jobs...DEA!!! Quit trying to protect Trumps ties to illegal activities...or you'll be Next in line in front of a Federal Judge!

  • rightened

    Now we get to see what disaster Trump decides to nominate in his place...

  • P bis

    Will he be around for Trump's next proctoscopy? Doubtful.

  • pfon71361

    Not really an unexpected result. When President Trump submitted his candidate for Veterans Affairs head, Ronny Jackson, he did so with the knowledge that he would be faced with the inevitable scrutiny that such an important position requires. After numerous allegations arise concerning his nominee he then calls such vetting "abuse." But at the same time immigrants, the vast majority of whom seek only a better life for themselves and their families in the US, must be subjected to "extreme vetting." Why not put forward qualified, ethically unencumbered candidates in the first place instead of people who happen to be fans of yours.

  • Fermer Votre Bouche

    'bout time

  • Colinalcarz

    Couldn’t Trump have called him before using the news to communicate? Awkward

  • Prophet With Honor

    We are temporarily better off for this. Let's see how long it takes to make a worse pick,

  • james

    Apparently this moron didn't understand that his moron boss wanted him to withdraw so he didn't have to admit that he made the wrong choice when he nominated him.
    one would think after that many years in the Navy he would understand that when the boss says "I wouldn't do it" that means you are supposed to say you don't want to do it.
    The Admiral shouldn't have stepped out of his hiding place. Stupidity and incompetence can't stand bright lights.

  • JR

    Maybe he can nominate Jimmy or Mikey next. Maybe Billy.

  • janie

    Trump wanted to hire an opiod addicted alky.. SAD

  • tj

    To be clear, Admiral Jackson served two Presidents and one Puppet. Allegations aside, Adm. Jackson was very obviously unqualified for the position given his lack of management experience. And seeing how unprofessionally he's handled these allegations, all the better to hear of his withdraw.

  • Dick Enya

    Little donnie just can't help finding the most unqualified and vile beings.

  • Jack

    the problem for both of them is, they cannot take the heat....

  • Anthony T

    Trump loves his abusive men....show me who ur friends are.....

  • Youarekiddin'

    "baseless and anonymous attacks on my character and integrity"
    REALLY!!!!

  • AG99

    I feel sorry for the guy. It's hard to imagine anyone being able to withstand the political process these days.

  • reality25

    And of course POTUS wasted no time venting on state run media "Fox & Friends".

  • center_line

    Trump should be ashamed of anything to do with our Veterans.They gave their health,their limbs,their lives for this Country and he wants to speak and appoint people for our veterans.
    What did you do for our country?Besides dodge the draft.
    Trump-I built great buildings.I made lots of money.Paid tons of tax...uh..well lots of buildings.
    Nugent-I made great music dudes.I was tripping for the people.

  • Prophet With Honor

    The losers in this farce are we veterans who still don't have adequate leadership for an agency we depend on.

  • RZC

    If this guy was handing out prescription drugs on Air Force One as mentioned and without a prescription and it's probably true than # 1 , he should lose his license to practice medicine and # 2
    this is a criminal action in many states , so shouldn't he be charged if appropriate ?

  • center_line

    I don't think Trump knows the meaning of "Only the best people".
    I think he has them confused with "only the people that are loyal to him."

  • RettasVegas

    How did he keep his job after these incidents?
    Obama should have fired him (maybe even Bush), had these incidents came to the public knowledge in their administrations, he surly would have had to be demoted or fired.
    We must have hundreds of high ranking, well respected doctor's in our nation that would have done a better job working with staff and NOT drinking on the job, why did he get away with that?
    I want to know why he lasted so long even before TrumPutin took office, that would be a very interesting story to follow, who carried his water for him, and why.
    #GodSpeedMueller!