Veterans Affairs nominee Dr. Ronny Jackson and a rival doctor exhibited unprofessional behaviors while running the White House medical office, according to a 2012 watchdog report, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.
The Navy’s Medical Inspector General’s report recommended either Jackson or the other physician, Dr. Jeffrey Kuhlman, be replaced.
Jackson’s nomination hit a snag Monday amid allegations he fostered a hostile work environment in the White House medical unit. Other allegations against Jackson included over-prescription of medicine and excessive drinking on the job.
Bipartisan lawmakers on the Senate Veterans Affairs committee agreed Tuesday to postpone Jackson’s confirmation hearing pending further review of potential disparaging information. The committee has not announced a new date for the hearing, which was originally scheduled for Wednesday.
“We take very seriously our constitutional duty to thoroughly and carefully vet each nominee sent to the Senate for confirmation,” Sens. Jon Tester, a Democrat, and Johnny Isakson, a Republican, said in joint statement. “We will continue looking into these serious allegations and have requested additional information from the White House to enable the committee to conduct a full review.”
It was up to Jackson about whether to continue the nomination process amid doubts about his record and ability to lead the VA, President Donald Trump said earlier Tuesday. Trump will “stand behind” Jackson if the doctor decides to go forward, the president added.
The six-page inspector general report found a lack of trust in Jackson’s leadership and low morale among staff members, according to the AP’s report. Staff members described the work environment akin to “being caught between parents going through a bitter divorce.”
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