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Trump defends Jackson, slams allegations

President Trump tweeted in defense of Dr. Ronny Jackson amid allegations about Dr. Jackson's professional conduct that led to the doctor withdrawing his nomination to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Posted: Apr 30, 2018 7:54 AM
Updated: Apr 30, 2018 7:54 AM

White House physician Ronny Jackson will not return to his role as President Donald Trump's personal physician, Politico reports, citing two senior administration officials.

The move comes after Jackson, a Navy rear admiral, withdrew his nomination for secretary of veterans affairs following a string of allegations that included he loosely handled prescription pain medications, was intoxicated during an overseas trip, and created a toxic work environment. Jackson has denied the allegations.

The White House did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment.

Navy officer Sean Conley took over as Trump's personal physician last month and will continue in the role, Politico reported, citing the senior administration officials.

A White House official told CNN last week that Jackson had returned to the White House Medical Unit, but not as the President's physician.

The White House continually defended Jackson as his nomination cratered on Capitol Hill this week. Trump addressed the accusations throughout the week, calling Jackson "one of the finest people I have met" at a news conference Tuesday and blaming Democrats for what he said was an unfair attack on the White House physician's record. That same day, top senators on the Veterans Affairs committee announced that they would postpone a confirmation hearing for Jackson scheduled the next day.

On Wednesday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Jackson's record was "impeccable," and said he had passed multiple background checks, including one conducted by the FBI.

After Jackson withdrew on Thursday, Trump launched into an attack on the committee's ranking Democrat, Jon Tester, over his opposition to the nominee and called for the Montana Democrat to resign in a tweet Saturday morning. The President kept up the attack at a rally in Michigan Saturday night, saying, "I know things about Tester that I could say, too. And if I said them, he'd never be elected again."

CNN reported Friday that the White House medical unit under Jackson's watch frequently functioned as a "grab and go" clinic where mid-level staffers to the most senior officials could obtain prescription drugs without being examined by a doctor, according to five of the medical unit's former and current employees.

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