Trump defends Ronny Jackson, calls for Tester resignation

President TrumpDonald John TrumpNASA exec leading moon mission quits weeks after appointment The Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' MORE said Saturday that Democratic Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterThreat of impeachment takes oxygen out of 2019 agenda Overnight Defense: Trump officials say efforts to deter Iran are working | Trump taps new Air Force secretary | House panel passes defense bill that limits border wall funds GOP angst grows amid Trump trade war MORE (Mont.) should resign because there is no proof of several allegations his staff compiled against Navy Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, the White House physician.

Trump tweeted a defense of his former Veterans Affairs nominee early Saturday morning after the Secret Service and the White House issued statements finding no evidence of two alleged drunken incidents included in a damning report that helped sink Jackson's nomination earlier this week.

"Allegations made by Senator Jon Tester against Admiral/Doctor Ron Jackson are proving false. The Secret Service is unable to confirm (in fact they deny) any of the phony Democrat charges which have absolutely devastated the wonderful Jackson family," Trump tweeted.

"The great people of Montana will not stand for this kind of slander when talking of a great human being. Admiral Jackson is the kind of man that those in Montana would most respect and admire, and now, for no reason whatsoever, his reputation has been shattered. Not fair, Tester!" Trump added.

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According to a report that Tester's staff compiled based on claims made by more than 20 people familiar with Jackson's leadership at the White House Medical Unit, Jackson was alleged to have "wrecked" a government vehicle after becoming intoxicated at a Secret Service going-away party. Another allegation said that during an overseas trip in 2015 he drunkenly banged on the hotel room door of a female employee so loudly that the Secret Service intervened so he did not wake former President Obama.

The White House on Friday said an investigation did not uncover any evidence that Jackson ever drunkenly wrecked a government vehicle and the Secret Service on Thursday denied that it intervened to prevent Jackson from disturbing Obama in 2015.

"The Secret Service has no such record of any incident ... a thorough review of internal documents related to all Presidential foreign travel that occurred in 2015, in addition to interviews of personnel who were present during foreign travel that occurred during the same timeframe, has resulted in no information that would indicate the allegation is accurate," the agency said in a statement.

However, under intense criticism over his ability to lead the Veterans Affairs Department, Jackson already withdrew his nomination on Friday.

"Unfortunately, because of how Washington works, these false allegations have become a distraction for this president and the important issue we must be addressing — how we give the best care to our nation’s heroes," he said in a statement.

Tester's report also included allegations that the Navy doctor once provided a “large supply” of opioid painkillers to a White House military staffer and frequently handed out drugs without prescriptions.

“It’s not political. I am focused on making sure that we have the best person possible to run the VA. It’s a very, very important agency,” Tester told reporters on Thursday, after Trump vowed that Tester would pay a political price for his takedown of his VA nominee.