Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson will not be returning to his old post as President Donald Trump’s personal physician.
The Navy officer who took over for Jackson as Trump’s personal doctor, Sean Conley, will continue serving the president, according to Politico.
Jackson dropped his bid to become the next secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) this week after Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of Montana released a two-page document detailing serious allegations that Jackson excessively drank on the job, over-prescribed medication and ran a hostile work environment.
Jackson has repeatedly denied the claims, but his decision to bow out before undergoing a Senate confirmation hearing raises some eyebrows.
Senators on the Veterans Affairs Committee abruptly postponed Jackson’s scheduled appearance early last week when Tester announced the committee was reviewing the allegations.
That didn’t immediately appear to jar Jackson, who welcomed any questions the senators might have for him.
“No, I’m looking forward to the hearing; I was looking forward to doing it tomorrow, so I’m looking forward to getting it rescheduled and answering all the questions,” Jackson told reporters when he arrived at the Capitol Tuesday afternoon.
Republicans were already voicing concerns about Jackson’s level of experience leading up to the canceled Veterans Affairs committee hearing last week. While the White House gave Jackson a stellar grade and the president has continued to defend him, concern among congressional Republicans — let alone Democrats — likely proved troubling.
Trump told reporters initially following Testers’ announcement of the allegations against Jackson that he wouldn’t continue pursuing the position, given the nature of the situation. The president later called for Tester to resign for what he said are allegations that remain unconfirmed.
The Secret Service announced Friday that it found no evidence to support allegations that members of the service detail stopped Jackson from disturbing former President Barack Obama during a 2015 trip overseas.
CNN reported that Jackson was banging on the hotel room door of a female colleague while under the influence, and the Secret Service intervened for fear he might wake up Obama.
Trump’s administration is having, to say the least, an incredibly difficult time getting seemingly well-qualified nominees through the Senate, as was evident this week with CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s secretary of state nomination. Jackson did not have as robust a resume as Pompeo for their respective appointments.
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