Jackson Considers Withdrawing As VA Nominee As New Allegations Surface

White House physician Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson speaks at a press briefing at the White House on January 16, 2018. (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
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As scrutiny over his behavior as White House physician increased on Wednesday, Ronny Jackson began to consider withdrawing as the nominee to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, two White House officials with knowledge of Jackson’s deliberations told the Washington Post.

The report that Jackson’s resolve was wavering came after Democrats released new allegations that Jackson was prone to excessive drinking and once crashed a government vehicle, wrote prescriptions without asking patients about their medical history, and mistreated those that worked for him. However, Jackson was considering stepping aside as the nominee before the new report surfaced, according to the Washington Post.

Jackson denied the allegation that he crashed a government vehicle while drunk on Wednesday evening and told reporters he would press on in the confirmation process. Yet behind closed doors, he has gone back and forth on whether he should pull out as the nominee or move forward and defend himself, per the Washington Post.

The White House defended Jackson throughout the day on Wednesday, touting his accomplishments as a military doctor and insisting that he had been properly vetted by the administration.

However, the new allegations on Wednesday afternoon left President Donald Trump and some aides in the White House less certain that the administration should continue to stand behind Jackson, CNN reported. Trump has started mulling out loud whether Jackson should take his name out of the running to lead the VA “before things get worse,” and aides in the White House have started preparing for the possibility that Jackson could withdraw, according to CNN.

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