Trump's Veterans Affairs pick faces new allegations of drunkenness, questionable drug prescriptions

Trump VA Nominee Allegedly 'Drunk On Duty', Says Senator

White House Mobilizes to Defend VA Pick Ronny Jackson

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders on Wednesday defended Dr. Ronny Jackson's record as "impeccable", suggesting the Department of Veterans Affairs nominee's position as White House doctor means he has been more thoroughly vetted than other Cabinet nominees.

The two-page summary details complaints it received from 23 former and current colleagues of Dr. Ronny Jackson, who has served as a White House physician since 2006.

A summary of unverified allegations against Veterans Affairs nominee Ronny Jackson obtained by TPM claims Jackson wrote his own prescriptions and drunkenly totaled a government auto at a Secret Service going-away party.

The new accusations are more specific than previous allegations, which said Jackson handed out sleeping pills on trips, was known to drink in excess and created a hostile work environment.

The senators' summary of charges against Jackson, which also include creating a hostile work environment and berating staff, comes from the testimony of 23 people familiar with Jackson, many of whom are now serving in the military. The White House disputed that he had improperly administered medication and said the medical unit passed regular audits by the Controlled Substance Inventory Board. The White House closed ranks around Jackson on Tuesday afternoon, declassifying documents about the nominee that included an Inspector General summary of a "command climate" assessment of the White House Medical Unit from 2012 that includes scathing comments about the leadership. While Jackson plans to continue pursuing his nomination, the White House is considering other options, Sanders told reporters Wednesday morning.

Jackson, who met privately with some senators on Tuesday, has not publicly addressed the allegations.

Jackson became a White House physician in 2006 under former President George W. Bush and was appointed physician to the president under former President Barack Obama.

"Personally, I hope Mr. Jackson is able to survive this challenge, but nonetheless, we have to do our job, and we'll do it just like we would if it was a Democrat or a Republican administration making the nomination".

Tester said more than 20 current and former military personnel have come forward with these claims.

Meanwhile, Sanders disputed claims that Jackson lacked the experience to lead the already embattled Department of Veterans Affairs.

Trump said Tuesday he would prefer not "to put a man through a process like this - it's too ugly and disgusting", adding: "What does he need it for?"

Ronny Jackson on Wednesday denied allegations he was involved in a drunken auto wreck.

Jackson on Wednesday denied allegations of bad behavior and told reporters at the White House he was "still moving ahead as planned".

Jackson has declined to answer reporters' questions about those allegations.

A Senate committee has revealed separate allegations of improper prescribing of drugs and the use of alcohol. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., about the allegations. One official conceded the raft of new allegations makes it harder for the White House to provide a defense.

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