White House prepares for possible Jackson withdrawal

"As an ethics person, how can the White House honestly say Dr. Jackson has undergone all his vetting?"

Appearing on The Lead Wednesday, Phil Mudd blasted Senate Dems for releasing information about Jackson - rather then question him about it during a confirmation hearing.

"It's totally his decision, but he'll be making a decision", Trump said of Jackson.

"The President had his sights on Dr. Jackson for this position ... and unless somebody was gonna raise a big red flag", the nomination was going to move forward no matter what, the senior official acknowledged.

"Trump says he has an idea for a replacement nominee, adding it will be "someone with political capability".

Jackson told reporters at the White House earlier on Wednesday that he did not wreck a vehicle, saying he did not know where the allegations were coming from.

The White House is defending Veterans Affairs nominee Ronny Jackson, insisting the longtime White House doctor has been more thoroughly vetted than most nominees.

The allegations in the document are unsubstantiated, and members of the committee are working to learn more about the alleged incidents that have been relayed to them by Jackson's former and current colleagues.

Senators on Tuesday said that the White House seemed to have been caught unaware by the criticisms of Jackson, who had previously been best known for the glowing descriptions he offered of Trump's health during a briefing with reporters in January.

The report reviewed by the AP included no references to improper prescribing of drugs or the use of alcohol, separate allegations revealed by a Senate committee. But Jackson later met with Trump and told him he was not ending his bid to head the department that oversees health care for 13 million USA veterans and has 377,000 employees. Sanders also noted that Jackson has worked "within arm's reach of three presidents". Though Trump suggested during a press conference on Tuesday that Jackson shouldn't bother submitting himself to media scrutiny, saying, "If I were him, I wouldn't do it", he changed his tune after Jackson denied the claims in a private meeting.

The summary of the serious allegations against Jackson are laid out in a new document released on Wednesday by the office of Sen. But we know in general terms what goes into an Federal Bureau of Investigation background check - although it's less clear how much more involved a check would be to work in the White House.

Jackson also was accused of creating a hostile work environment and acting as a "kiss up, kick down boss" who exhibited a constant fear of reprisal and "put his needs above everyone else's". But that was postponed indefinitely as senators from both parties said they wanted to look into concerns that had come to light about the Navy rear admiral, who has worked as a presidential physician since the George W. Bush administration. But Jackson has faced multiple questions from lawmakers and veterans groups about whether he has the experience to manage the department of 360,000 employees serving 9 million veterans. Jon Tester (D-MT) in his office in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill April 17, 2018 in Washington, DC. Trump fired former VA Secretary David Shulkin after concerns about unauthorized travel expenses.

  • Leroy Wright