Published: Thu, April 26, 2018
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Lawmakers Suspend Confirmation Hearing for VA Secretary Nominee Ronny Jackson

Lawmakers Suspend Confirmation Hearing for VA Secretary Nominee Ronny Jackson

Coworkers alleged Jackson, the White House physician and nominee for secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, got drunk at a Secret Service going-away party and "wrecked a government vehicle".

Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Tester sent a letter to Trump on Tuesday requesting additional documentation related to Jackson's tenure as the president's doctor and his role leading the White House medical team.

Sanders said Jackson has passed four background investigations, including a recent FBI investigation that is part of the vetting process for Cabinet nominees. After examining Trump earlier this year, Jackson proclaimed him to be in "excellent" health and said he had "incredibly good genes".

John Tester, the top Democrat on the Senate committee considering the nomination, has said the panel had received allegations that Jackson had improperly distributed sleeping pills, drank excessive amounts of alcohol on overseas trips and oversaw a toxic work environment.

His confirmation hearing, originally scheduled for Wednesday, was indefinitely postponed. "So we'll see what happens", said President Trump.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended Jackson to The New York Times, which first obtained the summary of the allegations. "But he is a man who has just been an extraordinary person".

Trump insisted he would stand behind his nominee, even as he suggested the political battle might not be worth it.

On Capitol Hill Wednesday, lawmakers said they are awaiting the results of the Senate VA committee's investigation but some said they have growing doubts about his fitness to lead the VA, the federal government's second largest agency with more than 350,000 employees and 1,2000 medical facilities. "Great doctor. Great everything". To be abused by a bunch of politicians that aren't thinking nicely about our country? "But it's totally his - I would stand behind him - totally his decision". Shulkin complained that he was sacked, in part, for resisting that push. The coworkers who came forward are "fearful of retribution", staff said.

Based on conversations with 23 of Jackson's colleagues and former colleagues, the review says Jackson was nicknamed "Candyman" by White House staff because he would provide prescriptions without paperwork.

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