White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson's nomination to be VA secretary is in trouble due to new allegations regarding his conduct, but the Trump administration is standing by the doctor as the Senate delays the confirmation hearing originally slated for Wednesday.
Members of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee haven't revealed any specific allegations against Jackson, but did say they have received new information. They have asked the Defense Department and White House for details on investigations and Jackson's conduct starting in 2006 when he was selected as White House physician.
Sens. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.), the chair and ranking member of the VA Committee, respectively, on Tuesday pressed President Donald Trump for reports from the Defense Department's Office of Inspector General, as well as the Offices of Inspector General for "each branch of service including such offices that deal primarily with medical care."
The senators have also asked for all documentation on Jackson's work in the White House Medical Unit and as the White House physician.
"We take very seriously our constitutional duty to thoroughly and carefully vet each nominee sent to the Senate for confirmation," Isakson and Tester said in a joint statement to the media on Tuesday morning. "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."
For now, the White House is not budging on the nomination, issuing a strong defense of Jackson while not addressing the undisclosed allegations.
"Adm. Jackson has been on the front lines of deadly combat and saved the lives of many others in service to this country," said Hogan Gridley, deputy White House press secretary on Tuesday. "He's served as the physician to three presidents—Republican and Democrat—and been praised by them all. Adm. Jackson's record of strong, decisive leadership is exactly what's needed at the VA to ensure our veterans receive the benefits they deserve."