Politicians from both sides of the aisle were cringing when Donald Trump named White House physician Ronny L. Jackson as his nominee to lead the Veterans Affairs Department, which happens to be largest health care system in the United States with 1,243 hospitals and clinics nationwide. While Jackson might be a proven physician, there was nothing on his résumé that qualified him to lead such a massive agency.
As Jackson was prepping to head to the the Hill for a confirmation hearing, rumors about Dr. Jackson’s behavior began to swirl with unconfirmed reports he had been accused of drinking on the job.
Members of Mr. Tester’s staff said that they had been given several credible accounts of Dr. Jackson being intoxicated during official White House travel. […]
On one trip during Barack Obama’s presidency, White House staff needed to reach Dr. Jackson for medical reasons and found him passed out in his hotel room after a night of drinking, Tester aides said. The staff members took the medical supplies they were looking for without waking Dr. Jackson.
Even as Donald Trump stands by his increasingly endangered nominee, White House staffers gave reporters a 2012 Navy Medical Inspector General review of Dr. Jackson, a report which recommended he be replaced. Here’s Rachel Maddow breaking down how damning this report is and how odd it is that the White House released the report themselves.
Why the heck did the White House send around this 2012 inspector general report on Ronny Jackson if they were trying to defend him?? pic.twitter.com/Br95jnS30t
— Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) April 25, 2018
Sen. Jon Tester told Anderson Cooper about another accusation, that Dr. Jackson was known as “the candy man.”
Sen. Jon Tester, a Democrat from Montana, said Ronny Jackson, Trump's pick to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, was known as "the candy man" because he would hand out prescriptions "like candy." https://t.co/axvPXFKLWW
— Veronica Rocha (@VeronicaRochaLA) April 25, 2018
This morning, Sen. Tester confirmed a report that Dr. Jackson drunkenly harassed a female White House employee during a foreign travel trip during the Obama administration.
On CNN, @SenatorTester confirms that senators have been informed by four sources about an allegation that Dr. Ronny Jackson was drunk on a foreign trip & banging on door of a female employee so loudly that the Secret Service became concerned that it might wake up the president pic.twitter.com/uZzUy7CEKO
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 25, 2018
The writing is on the wall and another Donald Trump nominee appears to be sinking. Will Dr. Jackson walk away and be out the door before lunch or dinner today? Either way, the nation’s veterans deserve a more qualified person to head the largest health care system in the country.