President Donald Trump focused his anger on Montana Sen. Jon Tester for smearing Dr. Ronny Jackson, his former nominee for Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
The president condemned the unconfirmed allegations against Jackson — currently serving as the White House physician.
“The false accusations that were made about him by Senator Tester from a great state — I don’t think that state is going to put up with it,” Trump said, hinting at Tester’s chances at winning re-election this fall.
Trump won the state of Montana by over 20 points over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.
Tester, who sits on the Senate Veterans Affairs committee, actively campaigned against Jackson, sitting for several media interviews to attack his character.
Trump described Washington D.C. as a “mean” and “nasty” place and said it was a “disgrace” that Tester had smeared the reputation of a decent man.
“He’s a brave man, would have been a great leader,” Trump said, adding that he spoke with Jackson on Friday morning and told him he was an “American hero.”
Tester and his staff drafted a two-page dossier of allegations against Jackson from former aides working for Jackson and released it to the media.
Jackson withdrew his nomination on Thursday after the allegations were reported.
The Secret Service said in a statement they had no record of any incident involving Jackson during his service as White House physician.
Trump sympathized with Jackson’s plight but said he knew what he was getting into when he ran for president.
“I’ve had it happen to me with the Russian collusion hoax,” he said.