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

Sen. Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonJoe Lieberman's son running for Senate in Georgia Poll: Majority of independent voters want GOP to retain control of Senate in 2020 Embracing President Mike Pence might be GOP's best play MORE (R-Ga.), the chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, defended Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterRed-state Democrats worry impeachment may spin out of control Overnight Energy: Lawmakers show irritation over withheld Interior documents | Republican offers bipartisan carbon tax bill | Scientists booted from EPA panel form new group Senate Democrats hesitant to go all-in on impeachment probe MORE (D-Mont.) on Tuesday and said President TrumpDonald John TrumpWHCA calls on Trump to denounce video depicting him shooting media outlets Video of fake Trump shooting members of media shown at his Miami resort: report Trump hits Fox News's Chris Wallace over Ukraine coverage 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 PenceThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by USAA — House Dems subpoena Giuliani associates Trump feud with Minneapolis mayor to take center stage at rally Karen Pence launches an Instagram account 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.