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Sources Say Trump's VA Pick Was Nicknamed 'Candyman'

Ronny Jackson continues to deny the allegations against him
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 25, 2018 4:36 PM CDT
Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, President Donald Trump's choice to be secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, leaves a Senate office building after meeting individually with some members of the committee...   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – A summary of allegations against President Donald Trump's pick to head the Department of Veterans Affairs says he recklessly prescribed drugs, had his own private stock of controlled substances, and got drunk and crashed a government car. The summary was released by Democrats as the White House rallied behind Dr. Ronny Jackson. 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. Drugs he prescribed included Ambien, used for sleep, and Provigil, used to help wake up. The colleagues and former colleagues also told congressional staffers that there were multiple incidents of drunkenness on duty and said Jackson got drunk at a Secret Service going-away party and wrecked a government car.

Jackson hit back at the allegations, telling reporters at the White House Wednesday he "never wrecked a car." He adds, "I have no idea where that is coming from." He says he's moving forward with his nomination, the AP reports. Earlier Wednesday, the White House defended Jackson, insisting the longtime White House doctor has been more thoroughly vetted than most nominees. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says that, "Dr. Jackson's record as a White House physician has been impeccable." And she says he's received more vetting than most nominees due to his close proximity to the last three presidents. Still, Sanders says the White House is, "continuing to look at the situation." The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee indefinitely postponed Jackson's confirmation hearing amid reports of bad behavior; with Congress set to recess Friday for a week, the earliest a hearing could be held would be in about 10 days.

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