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White House defends vetting of veterans affairs nominee Ronny Jackson
May 23 2018, 01:18 | Irvin Gilbert
Lawmakers Suspend Confirmation Hearing for VA Secretary Nominee Ronny Jackson
The summary states the allegations "have raised serious concerns about Jackson's temperament and ethics". On Tuesday, Montana Senator Jon Tester said Jackson is known within the White House as "candy man", because he hands out prescription pills as if they were candy.
But Trump is threatening this consensus by choosing Jackson, the White House physician with whom he happens to have a personal relationship.
"As these are allegations, the Ranking Member continues to believe that the Committee should continue to rigorously vet the nominee", Tester's spokeswoman says. She said none of the new charges came up in "the four separate background investigations that have taken place". After the meeting, the White House began publicly defending Jackson.
The allegations were detailed in a summary provided to reporters by Democrats on the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee on Wednesday, one day after the committee postponed Jackson's confirmation hearing.
However, the White House doctor also faces allegations of being drunk while overseas with then-President Barack Obama. With the nomination of Jackson and the disregard for the Senate comittee's input, it appears Trump may have shattered that tradition. "That's what multiple people told us, this was the case on several different trips". Reports have also surfaced of Jackson drinking on the job, and once drunkenly banging on the hotel room door of a female employee during an overseas work trip in 2015, until the Secret Service intervened.
Other allegations include that Jackson was verbally abusive toward staff, has an "explosive personality", and gave out inappropriate prescriptions, particularly of sleep medications.
"We were told time and time again the people above him he treated like gold, the people below him, he belittled, screamed at them, really created a very toxic environment to the point where the people who worked around him felt like they had to walk on eggshells because of his lack of respect for his job", Tester said.
Tester revealed the allegations Tuesday on NPR's "All Things Considered" after Jackson's confirmation hearings were delayed.