Trump Calls for Resignation of Senator Who Spread Unproven Allegations Against White House Doctor

April 28, 2018 Updated: October 5, 2018

President Donald Trump has called for the resignation of Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.), who circulated a list of anonymous unproven allegations against Dr. Ronny Jackson, the White House physician.

Trump nominated Jackson, a Navy Rear Admiral, to lead the Veterans Affairs Department, but after the allegations emerged, Jackson withdrew.

“The allegations against me are completely false and fabricated,” Jackson said. “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.”

The allegations surfaced on Wednesday, April 25, and included claims that Jackson created a hostile work environment and in some instances behaved unprofessionally. Tester said the allegations came from Jackson’s current and former colleagues. All were made anonymously though.

Epoch Times Photo
Secretary of Veterans Affairs nominee Navy Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, meets with Senator Jon Tester at his office on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on April 17, 2018. (Reuters/Joshua Roberts)

“It is my Constitutional responsibility to make sure the veterans of this nation get a strong, thoroughly vetted leader who will fight for them,” Tester said in a statement on Jackson’s withdrawal.

Trump has criticized Tester for smearing the physician.

“Allegations made by Senator Jon Tester against Admiral/Doctor Ron Jackson are proving false. 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,” Trump tweeted on Saturday morning, April 28.

“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!”

In the afternoon, Trump added: “Secret Service has just informed me that Senator Jon Tester’s statements on Admiral Jackson are not true. There were no such findings. A horrible thing that we in D.C. must live with, just like phony Russian Collusion. Tester should lose race in Montana. Very dishonest and sick!”

Tester’s seat will be contested in the Nov. 6 midterms. Trump carried Montana in the 2016 elections with over 56 percent, compared to Hillary Clinton’s less than 36 percent (pdf).

Trump told Fox & Friends over the phone on Thursday that he liked Jackson as a candidate in part because he isn’t a politician. After this experience, however, he said his new candidate, yet to be announced, has “political capabilities.”

Jackson, 50, has worked as a presidential physician since the George W. Bush administration and has been the lead doctor for Trump as well as former President Barack Obama. He is well-liked by both Republican and Democratic administration officials.

Epoch Times Photo
Physician to the President Navy Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson during his meeting with Sen. Jon Tester in Tester’s office in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on April 17, 2018. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Jackson was on the job at the White House on Thursday but it was not immediately clear whether he would resume his post as the top White House physician.

The Iraq war veteran took on a higher profile when he gave a long and glowing account of Trump’s health at a news conference in January after his first presidential medical exam.

The Veterans Affairs Department has long been under fire for the quality of healthcare it provides veterans. During his election campaign, Trump vowed to clean it up.

Trump fired former Veteran Affairs Secretary David Shulkin in March after concerns about unauthorized travel expenses.

Epoch Times staff member Ivan Petchoukov and Reuters contributed to this report.


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