Claims of Overprescription and Hostile Work Environment Delay VA Nominee

Allegations threaten Ronny Jackson nomination

What Trump was trying to do in his news conference with Macron was to have his cake and eat it too.

Ronny Jackson, the embattled nominee to lead the Veterans Affairs Department, says he's not stepping aside.

Prior to Jackson's nomination, Trump had told aides and outside advisers that he was fond of Jackson personally and was said to be particularly impressed with Jackson's performance at the White House press room podium in January, when he offered a glowing report on the president's physical and mental well-being.

Jackson has worked as the official White House doctor for the past three presidents, including President Trump, Obama and former President George W. Bush.

The White House, by the admission of these two officials, has done nearly nothing to tell Jackson's story or explain why he would work well leading the VA.

"I wouldn't do it. I'd love to have him", Trump said.

Tuesday came word that the Senate, finally doing the job Trump staffers should have done, revealed problems beyond that obvious one.

The panel's top members, chairman Johnny Isakson and ranking Democrat Jon Tester, released a joint statement announcing the delay.

"We take very seriously our constitutional duty to thoroughly and carefully vet each nominee sent to the Senate for confirmation", the pair wrote.

"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", the statement said. Jerry Moran, a member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.

He met Thursday with Sen. He said he isn't sure when, or whether, the hearing might be rescheduled.

Sen. Mazie K. Hirono, of Hawaii, a member of the Veterans Affairs Committee, said she had "deep concerns" about Jackson.

Trump said Jackson, who has been a White House physician since 2006, would make a decision soon.

The VA serves about nine million veterans nationwide each year. The department is the federal government's second largest, employing more than 370,000 people and operating sprawling health and veterans benefits systems. The White House is now preparing a defense, feeling that Jackson - well liked by administration figures from both parties - was being railroaded.

The White House and Secret Service did not respond to requests for comment.

"(M) ost feel that CAPT Jackson's failures were primarily due to the destructive rapport with CAPT Kuhlman and that he has not had the opportunity to lead the WHMU without hindrance or support", according to an excerpt of the inspector general report obtained by NBC News.

Jackson's nomination ran into trouble earlier in the day when a Senate committee delayed indefinitely his confirmation in light of "new information" it had received.

JACKSON: I'm saying: I'm looking forward to the hearing, so we can sit down and I can explain everything to everyone and answer all the senators' questions.

But one of the allegations is that he improperly dispensed prescription drugs. Kuhlman left the White House in July 2013 and Jackson was named as his successor.

The White House is standing behind Ronny Jackson, President Donald Trump's choice to be Veterans Affairs secretary amid growing questions about his qualifications.

Jackson was already under unprecedented scrutiny for a VA secretary nominee - a post that in modern history has always won unanimous backing in the Senate.

Before his nomination, Dr. Jackson had garnered little public attention and his policy views were unknown. We now know that the definition of "best people" turned out to mean a rogue's gallery of sycophants such as Jackson, incompetents like DeVos, penny-ante sleaze like Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and people who will do the bidding of big business like Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney.

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