Amid 'False' Accusations, Trump's VA Pick Drops Out

White House physician Ronny Jackson says allegations against him have become a 'distraction'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 26, 2018 7:21 AM CDT
Updated Apr 26, 2018 7:52 AM CDT
Jackson Out of Running for VA Secretary
In this April 16, 2018, photo, Dr. Ronny Jackson sits before a meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The so-called "Candyman" won't be getting a sweet gig in the Trump administration after all. Dr. Ronny Jackson, the White House physician who became the president's pick to head the Department of Veterans Affairs, has withdrawn his nomination amid misconduct allegations, per the Hill. Jackson put out a statement Thursday insisting the accusations against him—including charges of drinking on the job, creating a "hostile work environment," inappropriately doling out meds such as Ambien and Percocet, and even writing prescriptions for himself—were "false and fabricated" but that these issues had become a "distraction." A new accusation that emerged Wednesday: one from a report by Democrats on the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee that Jackson had become intoxicated at a Secret Service party and "wrecked a government vehicle," per the New York Times.

Jackson said that if any of the allegations had any truth to them, "I would not have been selected, promoted, and entrusted to serve in such a sensitive and important role as physician to three presidents over the past 12 years," per Fox News. Rumors had started floating Wednesday Jackson would withdraw his name, with two White House officials telling the Washington Post that Jackson, 50, was telling co-workers he was getting fed up with the nomination process. Before he stepped away Thursday, the White House was still standing behind Jackson but was also prepared for him to walk away, the AP reports. After Jackson's announcement, Trump called into Fox & Friends and said Jackson "would have done a great job [and] … has a tremendous heart. These are false accusations, they are trying to destroy a man." (Read more Ronny Jackson stories.)

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