White House doctor Ronny Jackson withdraws VA bid

White House doctor Ronny Jackson is withdrawing from consideration as Veterans Affairs secretary.

"Unfortunately, because of how Washington works, these false allegations 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," Jackson said in a statement released by the White House on Thursday morning.

Jackson said he expected "tough questions" about his qualifications for the VA, "but I did not expect to have to dignify baseless and anonymous attacks on my character and integrity."

Trump told Fox News that Jackson's decision did not surprise him — "I saw where this was going" — and said "it's a disgrace" the way his nominees have been treated, including "Doc Ronny."

Jackson's nomination lasted less than a month as he came under withering criticism, first for a lack of management experience, and then this week, for accusations by colleagues that he improperly dished out opioids, drank on the job and fostered a hostile work environment at the White House medical office where he is physician to the president.


Here's Jackson's full statement on withdrawing his name:

One of the greatest honors in my life has been to serve this country as a physician both on the battlefield with United States Marines and as proud member of the United States Navy.

It has been my distinct honor and privilege to work at the White House and serve three Presidents.

Going into this process, I expected tough questions about how to best care for our veterans, but I did not expect to have to dignify baseless and anonymous attacks on my character and integrity.

The allegations against me are completely false and fabricated. If they had any merit, 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.

In my role as a doctor, I have tirelessly worked to provide excellent care for all my patients. In doing so, I have always adhered to the highest ethical standards.

Unfortunately, because of how Washington works, these false allegations 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.

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.

I am proud of my service to the country and will always be committed to the brave veterans who volunteer to defend our freedoms.

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