VA nominee says he's 'looking forward' to 'answering everybody's questions'

Navy Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, President TrumpDonald John TrumpRepublicans consider skipping witnesses in Trump impeachment trial Bombshell Afghanistan report bolsters calls for end to 'forever wars' Lawmakers dismiss Chinese retaliatory threat to US tech MORE's pick for the next Veterans Affairs secretary, says he is "looking forward" to getting his confirmation hearing rescheduled and "answering everybody's questions" as his nomination looks to be in serious danger.

In a statement to NBC News, Jackson, the White House physician, would not address the allegations he faces of excessive drinking and creating an unsafe work environment, but said he was "disappointed" to hear the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee had postponed his hearing, originally scheduled for Wednesday.

"I’ll just say that I was looking forward to the hearing tomorrow. Kind of disappointed that it’s been postponed, but I’m looking forward to getting it rescheduled and answering everybody’s questions," said Jackson.


"I’m looking forward to the hearing, so we can sit down and I can explain everything to everyone and answer all the senators’ questions," he added.

Jackson didn't answer further questions about whether he was considering withdrawing his nomination amid the allegations, but Trump during a Tuesday press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron gave Jackson cover to back out. 

“It’s totally his decision, he’ll be making a decision,” Trump said, adding that he told Jackson “this is a vicious group of people that malign. What do you need this for? … You’re too fine a person.” 

Republicans and Democrats on the Veterans' Affairs Committee are looking at allegations of improper conduct at more than one stage in the career of Jackson, according to multiple news reports on Monday evening.

Among the allegations are charges that Jackson created a "hostile work environment," CBS News reported, including "excessive drinking on the job [and] improperly dispensing meds.”

"It'll sink his nomination" if the claims are true, one source told CBS.

"All I can really tell you at this moment time is we are continuing the vetting process. We are working very hard at it. It's all hands on deck," Veterans' Affairs Committee ranking Democrat Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterTrump trade deal likely to sow division in Democratic presidential field Krystal Ball: Is this how Bernie Sanders will break the establishment? GOP braces for Democratic spending onslaught in battle for Senate MORE (Mont.) said Monday.

Jackson, who performed Trump's physical in January and gave a lengthy report to the media, is the White House's replacement for David ShulkinDavid Jonathon ShulkinFormer Trump VA secretary says staffer found plans to replace him in department copier VA under pressure to ease medical marijuana rules Press: Acosta, latest to walk the plank MORE, who says he was fired in March. The White House says Shulkin resigned