GOP senator says CNN report makes Trump claim about Jackson allegations 'false'

Sen. Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonOssoff, Warnock to knock on doors in runoff campaigns Democrats urge YouTube to remove election misinformation, step up efforts ahead of Georgia runoff Democrats press Facebook, Twitter on misinformation efforts ahead of Georgia runoff MORE (R-Ga.), the chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, defended Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterOvernight Defense: Trump loyalist to lead Pentagon transition | Democrats ask VA for vaccine distribution plan | Biden to get classified intel reports Senate Democrats press VA for vaccine distribution plan President is wild card as shutdown fears grow MORE (D-Mont.) on Tuesday and said President TrumpDonald John TrumpUSAID administrator tests positive for COVID-19 Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year DOJ appeals ruling preventing it from replacing Trump in E. Jean Carroll defamation lawsuit MORE is wrong to say all of the allegations against his pick to lead the Veterans Affairs Department, Ronny Jackson, are wrong.

Responding to a CNN reporter at a Rotary Club meeting, Isakson pointed to a CNN report that he said verified some of the allegations made against Jackson, a White House physician, that were included in a memo released by Tester last week. Trump has called for Tester, the ranking Democrat on the Veterans' Affairs panel, to resign over the memo.


Isakson said the report, which involves allegations against Jackson made by Vice President Pence's physician, showed that Trump made a "false statement" when he said the allegations against Jackson were off-base.

"Fortunately last night, a story broke that made that a false statement," Isakson said. "Because part of the allegations made in one of the affidavits was verified, where allegations that had been incorporated in some of the complaints against Adm. Jackson were validated in that. So it looks like there's a story that corroborates the fact that there were some of those allegations that were correct."

The story Isakson referred to, by CNN's Manu Raju, said that Pence's physician had raised alarms within the White House about Jackson. Pence's physician, the report said, had a confrontation with Jackson over whether Jackson violated federal privacy protections for second lady Karen PenceKaren Sue PenceSpaceX capsule arrives at International Space Station The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Capital One - World reacts to news of second COVID-19 vaccine with 90 percent efficacy The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by UAE - US records 1 million COVID-19 cases in a week; governors crack down MORE.

CNN reported that Vice President Pence's physician wrote a memo in which he said he had felt intimidated by Jackson over the episode and of being treated unprofessionally. 

The allegations in the memo released by Tester, which it said were based on 23 sources, included charges that Jackson had created a hostile work environment. Jackson has denied the allegations, which also include charges of drinking on the job and over-prescribing pills.

Trump has repeatedly attacked Tester, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, over his role in surfacing the allegations against Jackson, calling them "vicious rumors."

"Allegations made by Senator Jon Tester against Admiral/Doctor Ron Jackson are proving false," Trump wrote on Twitter, adding that Tester "should lose race in Montana."

Tester is up for reelection this year in a state that Trump won by double digits in 2016.

Updated at 9:30 a.m.