President Donald Trump on Saturday morning called for Montana Democratic Sen. Jon Tester to resign over his opposition to White House physician Ronny Jackson's nomination for secretary of veterans affairs, saying some of the allegations against Jackson "are proving false."
Tester, the top Democrat on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, had raised concerns about allegations against Jackson, including that he loosely handled prescription pain medications, was intoxicated during an overseas trip, and created a toxic work environment. Jackson withdrew his nomination on Thursday.
"Allegations made by Senator Jon Tester against Admiral/Doctor Ron Jackson are proving false," Trump wrote in a pair of tweets. "The Secret Service is unable to confirm (in fact they deny) any of the phony Democrat charges which have absolutely devastated the wonderful Jackson family. Tester should resign. The.........great people of Montana will not stand for this kind of slander when talking of a great human being. Admiral Jackson is the kind of man that those in Montana would most respect and admire, and now, for no reason whatsoever, his reputation has been shattered. Not fair, Tester!"
The White House showed reporters documents that a White House official claims exonerates Jackson from allegations he inappropriately dispensed pills and wrecked a government vehicle after leaving a Secret Service going away party. The Secret Service said it did not find any information to indicate he banged on the hotel room of a female employee while intoxicated on an oversees trip, as four sources familiar with the allegation told CNN the incident did happen.
The incident became so noisy, one source familiar with the allegation told CNN, that the Secret Service stopped him out of concern that he would wake then-President Barack Obama.
Two sources who previously worked in the White House Medical Unit described the same incident, with one former staffer telling CNN that it was "definitely inappropriate, in the middle of the night," and that it made the woman uncomfortable.
There are other allegations that have not been answered, including that he was allegedly "abusive" to his colleagues and "on at least one occasion" Jackson "could not be reached when needed because he was passed out drunk in his hotel room," according to Democratic staff on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.
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