Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson this morning stepped down as President Donald Trump’s nominee for the job of Department of Veterans Affairs chief, after a wild Wednesday in which a growing list of allegations about an explosive temper, inappropriate prescribing of drugs including an opioid, and intoxication on the job.
President Donald Trump said Jackson got done in by Democrats and was mowed over because he’s “not political, which I liked.” Shortly after Jackson announced his withdrawal, Trump reminded Fox & Friends he’d seen the writing on the wall days ago and assured the Fox News Channel morning show hosts he’s already got a new candidate in mind, “someone with political capability.”
Previous names had included Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Fox & Friends weekend host Pete Hegseth, a retired military officer who formerly ran Vets For Freedom and Concerned Veterans for America.
Jackson, best known these days as the guy who examined Trump and declared his genes so good he could live to be 200 if he’d quit eating so much take-out food, bashed the list of allegations against him as “completely false and fabricated.”
“In my role as a doctor, I have tirelessly worked to provide excellent care for all my patients. In doing so, I have always adhered to the highest ethical standards,” he said.
Trump called Jackson an “incredible man respected by President Obama, President Bush” who “runs a fantastic operation.” Trump said the nom was his idea alone. “He did not come to me. I said, ‘You run a great operation. How do you think you’d be at the VA?’ “
Trump insisted nobody is qualified for the post, saying, “You could take the head of the biggest hospital corporation in the world and it’s peanuts compared to the VA.”