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White House comments on VA Secretary hearing postponement

25 April 2018, 03:17 | Myrtle Vega

Trump Says He Will Let Embattled Veterans Affairs Nominee Decide Whether to Withdraw

Trump's Doctor And VA Pick Ronny Jackson Accused Of Drinking On Job

For now, the White House is standing behind President Donald Trump's pick to lead the VA. I don't want to put a man through a process like this. "It's too ugly, and it's too disgusting".

Though Trump couched his comments as a defense of Jackson, his statement was a public signal to a nominee under fire. Jackson met privately with Trump Tuesday afternoon in the Oval Office and the president urged him to keep fighting to win confirmation, according to a White House official briefed on the meeting. "This is concerning even for a very ethically challenging White House", she said.

Sen. Jon Tester of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee is reviewing the allegations against Ronny Jackson, a White House doctor since 2006.

The president theorized that Democrats unable to halt Mike Pompeo's nomination to be Secretary of State were now moving on to Jackson.

Jackson, President Trump's nominee to run the Department of Veteran Affairs, was apparently banging on the door so hard that a Secret Service agent stepped in, fearful the ruckus would wake then-President Barack Obama, according to CNN.

The two lawmakers sent a letter to Trump on Tuesday requesting additional information about Jackson.

"I mean, right away", said Blumenthal, who also stressed that the allegations were unsubstantiated.

The six-page report was reviewed Tuesday by The Associated Press.

However, a 2012 watchdog report claimed Jackson exhibited "unprofessional behaviors" amid a power struggle over the White House medical unit.

Both said the use of such drugs is common and necessary for the multinational trips that dozens of White House aides must take with the president. "He does deny that he's done anything wrong in his service to the country and particularly his time at the White House as a physician in the medical unit", Moran said. The report found that the conflict between them had become so bitter that workers described the dynamic as "being caught between parents going through a bitter divorce".

"There is a severe and pervasive lack of trust in the leadership that has deteriorated to the point that staff walk on 'eggshells, '" the assessment found.

The White House disputed that Jackson had improperly administered medication, saying the medical unit passed regular audits by the Controlled Substance Inventory Board.

Speaking to CNN, Tester, the ranking member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, disclosed some of the reports he has received about Jackson. "I was looking forward to doing it tomorrow, so I'm looking forward to getting it rescheduled and answering all the questions".

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From the beginning, there were doubts about Jackson's readiness to lead the federal government's second-largest bureaucracy, an agency of more than 375,000 employees with a budget of more than $185 billion. "So nobody has the experience".

It's looking less and less likely that Ronny Jackson will be the next secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Jackson himself, though, said there was no inspector general report about the allegations. Pruitt faces multiple allegations of improper housing, expensing and other practices, prompting several lawmakers to call for him to step down.

Isakson, a Georgia Republican, declined to say anything more at the Capitol. Tester, of Montana, said, "We're still working on the vetting".

Still, the Trump administration defended Jackson earlier Tuesday.

"I think the White House has to give us full, and accurate, factual responses completely addressing these questions, today".

"The White House has been consistently and abysmally careless, even derelict in the vetting process, which accounts for some of the problems with their nominees", he said. Patty Murray, D-Wash., a member of the Veterans' Affairs Committee. Shulkin is a former hospital executive who was a holdover from the Obama administration and who initially won Trump's favor for his efforts to overhaul the long-troubled system for veterans health care. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to describe internal discussions.

White House and VA officials are also discussing a delay with key allies outside the administration.

Members of both parties pushed back on the alcohol allegation. Sen. A junior press aide was tasked with escorting Jackson to Capitol Hill to meet with senators.

The allegations largely surround Jackson's conduct while on overseas trips. That management has come from experienced bureaucrats who have demonstrated - in theory, at least - that they have the skills and experience to handle a major agency.

"He always seemed to be alert, responsive, responsible", said David Axelrod, who served as Obama's senior adviser.

"Our Republican colleagues bemoan the pace of the nominations", said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.



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