Stay TOONED: Jackson says "I'm out"

Jon Tester didn't intend to play a central role in taking down President Donald Trump's pick to lead the Veterans Affairs Department. Jon Tester of Montana, the committee's ranking Democrat, for unfairly maligning Jackson and said voters in his state should make him pay a price.

Ronny L. Jackson's withdrawal from consideration to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs stanched an immediate political crisis for the Trump White House, but it sparked new questions over his future as the president's doctor and the fate of the embattled agency.

Trump tweets that "phony Democrat charges" have "absolutely devastated" Jackson and his family. None of them happened late at night or "bear any resemblance to the Tester allegations", the official said.

The White House said the records raise doubt about unsubstantiated claims from some Democratic lawmakers, who cited interviews with anonymous current and former colleagues on Jackson, that the White House physician overprescribed prescription medications, drank alcohol while on duty, and was involved in a vehicle accident that might have involved alcohol, the Associated Press reported.

At a Secret Service going-away party, the summary says, Jackson got drunk and wrecked a government vehicle.

Jackson's nomination had become imperiled even before Capitol Hill Democrats on Wednesday released new allegations of misconduct.

It was not clear whether the White House's records search might have missed an episode like the one on Mr. Tester's list of accusations, or if such an episode might have gone unreported.

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Five current and former employees of the White House medical unit told CNN that they felt pressured to hand out drugs to senior officials.

The Secret Service also challenged a CNN report that said Jackson had to be stopped by agents during an overseas trip for banging on a White House staffer's hotel room door, over concerns that the noise might disturb then-President Barack Obama.

On Friday the White House said that internal records raise doubt about some of the most serious allegations leveled against White House doctor Ronny Jackson in his failed bid to become the next secretary of Veterans Affairs.

The Secret Service said in a statement they had no record of any incident involving Jackson during his service as White House physician. He would have been a great leader, ' Trump complained, noting that he, Obama and former President George W. Bush had all praised the doctor's conduct in the past.

"I've had it happen to me with the Russian collusion hoax", Trump added.

The allegations, which Jackson categorically denied as false, had prompted the Senate to put a hold on his hearing for the job of leading the federal government's second largest department.

  • Megan Austin