Dr. Ronny Jackson, President Donald Trump's embattled pick for Veterans Affairs secretary, bowed out of the nomination Thursday morning after an intense week during which anonymous allegations emerged of reckless prescribing practices.
"One of the greatest honors in my life has been to serve this country as a physician both on the battlefield with United States Marines and as proud member of the United States Navy," Jackson said in a statement. "It has been my distinct honor and privilege to work at the White House and serve three presidents."
Jackson's withdrawal comes one day after Democratic staffers on the Senate Veterans Affairs' Committee released a scathing summary of interviews with 23 "colleagues and former colleagues" of Jackson, claiming he earned the nickname "Candyman" for allegedly reckless prescribing practices. On Tuesday, senators postponed his confirmation hearing, which was slated to happen Wednesday.
Another accusation said he allegedly wrecked a government vehicle after getting drunk at a Secret Service party, and some of those interviewed described him as "vindictive" and "dishonest."
The Democratic staff summary noted that multiple individuals alleged Jackson would hand out Ambien and Provigil on Air Force One without completing paperwork for the controlled medications.
Up until the release of the Democratic memo, the White House had fiercely defended Jackson's character and framed the original leaked reports of bad behavior as resulting from a disgruntled former colleague's animosity.
Senate VA Committee Chair Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and ranking Democrat Jon Tester of Montana delayed Jackson's slated confirmation hearing on Tuesday in light of the allegations.