Whtie House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson, President Trump’s pick to head up the Department of Veterans Affairs, has withdrawn his nomination according to a White House statement Thursday.
“While I will forever be grateful for the trust and confidence President Trump has placed in me by giving me this opportunity, I am regretfully withdrawing my nomination to be Secretary for the Department of Veterans Affairs,” Jackson said in a statement.
The admiral labeled the allegations as “false” and remarked that they have “become a distraction for this President and the important issue we must be addressing – how we give the best care to our nation’s heroes.”
He defended his reputation, arguing that while serving as White House physician, he “always adhered to the highest ethical standards.”
Jackson withdrew after reports from The New York Times broke Tuesday alleging that he allowed the overprescribing of drugs and drank during work hours during three-administration long tenure as White House physician. It’s unclear exactly if this reported behavior occurred during the Bush, Obama, or Trump White House.
The White House threw their full support behind Jackson after news broke.
“Admiral Jackson’s record of strong, decisive leadership is exactly what’s needed at the V.A. to ensure our veterans receive the benefits they deserve,” deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said in a statement.
Though Trump seemed to urge Jackson to withdraw his nomination during a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron.
“I don’t want to put a man through a process like this,” Trump said. “The fact is, I wouldn’t do it. What does he need it for? To be abused by a number of politicians?”
Jackson, instead, will remain in his post at the White House. It’s unclear who the administration will nominate in Jackson’s place.