White House physician Ronny Jackson announced that he would withdraw from consideration for the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
“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,” Jackson said in a statement to reporters released by the White House.
Jackson announced his decision after Senator Jon Tester released a two-page list of unproven allegations smearing Trump’s nominee, who served as the White House physician for three different presidents.
President Donald Trump nominated the White House physician as Secretary of Veterans Affairs, but faced stiff opposition from both Republicans and Democrats in the Senate.
Jackson denied the allegations which included medical misconduct, drinking while on duty and wrecking a government vehicle while driving intoxicated, calling them “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,” he said.
Jackson said he was grateful that Trump had the trust and confidence to nominate him, but said the allegations became a distraction to care for veterans.
“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,” he said.