White House: No evidence Ronny Jackson crashed government vehicle
An investigation did not uncover any evidence that President Trump’s former nominee to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) drunkenly wrecked a government vehicle after a Secret Service party, White House officials told The Washington Post.
The accusation against Navy Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, the White House physician, was one of the more serious allegations the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee examined as part of his confirmation process this month.
A summary of the allegations released earlier this week by Democratic staff on the committee claimed that Jackson “wrecked” a government vehicle after becoming intoxicated at a Secret Service going-away party.
Jackson has denied that allegation.
White House officials also told the Post that Sen. Jon Tester (Mont.), the top Democrat on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee who authorized the release of the summary, never questioned Jackson about the allegations before making them public.
A review of Jackson’s record uncovered only three minor traffic incidents, according to the Post. None of the incidents involved alcohol nor was Jackson found to be at fault in any of them, The Associated Press reported.
The Secret Service on Thursday separately denied that it intervened to prevent Jackson from drunkenly disturbing former President Obama during an overseas trip in 2015.
The allegation, however, was one of several facing the White House doctor. Others included that he drank on the job, created a hostile work environment and overprescribed drugs — and even prescribed them to himself.
Jackson withdrew his name from consideration for the top VA position on Thursday. He continues to deny the allegations, pointing to the fact that he has served as the official physician to three presidents.
“If they had any merit, I would not have been selected, promoted and entrusted to serve in such a sensitive and important role as physician to three presidents over the past 12 years,” he said.
Trump defended Jackson earlier Friday, lauding him as an “American hero” while asserting that “many people” are looking to serve as his VA secretary.
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