IG report recommended removing Trump VA nominee due to 'lack of trust in leadership'

IG report recommended removing Trump VA nominee due to 'lack of trust in leadership'
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A 2012 Inspector General report found that President TrumpDonald John TrumpLiz Cheney: 'Send her back' chant 'inappropriate' but not about race, gender Booker: Trump is 'worse than a racist' Top Democrat insists country hasn't moved on from Mueller MORE’s pick for Veterans Affairs (VA) secretary acted unprofessionally amid a power struggle with another doctor.

The Associated Press reviewed the six-page document on Tuesday as Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson faces new, significant setbacks in his path to run the VA. The report detailed a power struggle between Jackson and Dr. Jeffrey Kuhlman over the White House medical unit, leading to staff member concerns about Jackson’s leadership.

Staffers described the work environment as “being caught between parents going through a bitter divorce,” the AP reported.


The inspector general ultimately recommended the White House replace Jackson, Kuhlman or both doctors. Kuhlman was former President Obama's physician at the time.

The details regarding Jackson’s past performance come hours after the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee indefinitely postponed his confirmation hearing amid allegations against Jackson of workplace misconduct.

Sens. Johnny IsaksonJohn (Johnny) Hardy IsaksonGeorgia senator discharged from hospital after fall Georgia senator hospitalized after fall Senate GOP raises concerns about White House stopgap plan to avoid shutdown MORE (R-Ga.) and Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterPoll: McConnell is most unpopular senator Trump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi looks to squash fight with progressives MORE (D-Mont.), the top members of the committee, said they needed to look into “serious allegations” about Jackson. They did not comment on what those specific allegations might be. 

Trump earlier Tuesday said he’d continue to back Jackson, but gave his nominee a way out.

"I really don’t think personally he should do it, but it's totally his decision," Trump said during a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron when asked if Jackson's nomination should be withdrawn.

The president said he told Jackson “this is a vicious group of people that malign. What do you need this for? … You’re too fine a person.”

Jackson later denied allegations he behaved improperly, and said he's "looking forward to the hearing, so we can sit down and I can explain everything to everyone and answer all the senators’ questions."

Trump took Washington by surprise in announcing Jackson’s nomination in a tweet last month.

Jackson is a rear admiral in the Navy, and has served as the White House physician to the last three presidents. However, he faced immediate criticism for his lack of management experience given the vastness of the VA and its history of scandals.