28 April, 2018
"He's a courageous 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".
Mr. Trump said during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel that Jackson is "a great doctor" and "a great admiral" and says he thinks the allegations are "an absolute disgrace".
Jackson, the president's physician, swiftly withdrew his name from consideration for the cabinet position days after current and former colleagues accused him in a memo released by Senate Democrats of creating a hostile work environment, too freely dispensing prescription medication and drinking to excess, sometimes while on the job. The claims include that Jackson had wrecked a government vehicle after getting drunk at a Secret Service going-away party.
After officials reviewed Jackson's vehicle records, the White House said there's no evidence that incident took place, according to a Washington Post report. Jackson, a surprise choice who has worked as a White House physician since 2006, faced immediate questions from Republican and Democratic lawmakers as well as veterans groups about whether he had the experience to manage the massive department of 360,000 employees serving 9 million veterans.
Instead, the White House said, records show that in one instance an upset driver punched out a window on Jackson's vehicle during a trip to Camp David, Md., and in another case, a side-view mirror was hit by a passing truck. Tester spokeswoman Marnee Banks told the AP the office would not comment until it knew more about the White House records.More news: Kansas lawmakers urging quick final confirmation of Mike Pompeo
Democrats said Thursday that the allegations against Jackson reflected a lack of proper vetting by the White House.
"These were false accusations about a great man", he said.
In a statement dated Thursday, the Secret Service said it had conducted a "thorough review" of internal documents related to Obama's foreign trips in 2015 and interviewed people who were present. The report alleged that he made so much noise that the Secret Service intervened out of concern he would wake then-President Obama.
Jackson, who previously served presidents Obama and George W. Bush, was tapped by Trump to lead the VA after Shulkin departed March 28.
"I've had it happen to me with the Russian collusion hoax", he said.
Moran says the people in the fields and VA hospitals in Kansas are usually veterans themselves, but things change as you head up the political ladder.