Trump: Tester 'dishonest and sick' for pushing allegations against VA nominee

Trump: Tester 'dishonest and sick' for pushing allegations against VA nominee
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Trump scramble to rack up accomplishments gives conservatives heartburn Seven years after Sandy Hook, the politics of guns has changed MORE lashed out at Sen. 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 (D-Mont.) on Twitter Saturday afternoon, defending his former pick for Veterans Affairs (VA) secretary, Navy Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson.

In the tweet, Trump called Tester "dishonest and sick" for pushing an allegation that Secret Service agents had to stop Jackson from drunkenly banging on the door of a female staffer on an overseas trip in 2015, worrying he would wake then-President Obama.

"Secret Service has just informed me that Senator Jon Tester’s statements on Admiral Jackson are not true. There were no such findings. A horrible thing that we in D.C. must live with, just like phony Russian Collusion. Tester should lose race in Montana. Very dishonest and sick!" Trump tweeted.

Tester has maintained that the allegation, part of several damaging stories that ultimately led to Jackson withdrawing his nomination Thursday, was compiled from current and former service members.

In a statement to The Hill, a Secret Service spokesman referred to an earlier statement from the agency stating it had found "no information that would indicate the allegation is accurate." The Secret Service would not comment on whether it had briefed the president on other allegations, but, according to the statement, the agency is not aware of "any incident involving Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson."

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Trump and Tester already sparred earlier this week when the president said the senator would pay a steep political price for his takedown of Jackson. Still, Tester maintains that his concerns about Jackson were "not political."

“It’s not political. I’m focused on making sure we have the best person possible to run the VA. It’s a very, very important agency,” Tester told reporters.

A spokeswoman for Sen. Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Lankford to be named next Senate Ethics chairman The Hill's 12:30 Report: Job growth soars in November MORE (Ga.), the Republican chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, said Saturday that Isakson does not "have a problem" with "how things were handled."

Other Republicans, however, say Tester may have overstepped in his opposition to Jackson. 

“I don’t think you want to be the tip of the spear of the anti-Trump movement in a state that voted so overwhelmingly for President Trump,” a senior Senate GOP aide told The Hill on Friday.