While White House physician Ronny Jackson has withdrawn his nomination to run the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Secret Service has come to his defense by countering at least one allegation that’s been lobbed against Jackson in recent days.
In a rare statement released Thursday, the Secret Service said it not only had no record of having to intervene during a 2015 overseas trip to keep Jackson — who was reportedly drunk and loudly banging on a female employee’s hotel room door — from waking up former President Barack Obama, the agency also said it has no record of “any incident” involving Jackson.
“A thorough review of internal documents related to all presidential foreign travel that occurred in 2015, in addition to interviews of personnel who were present during foreign travel that occurred during the same timeframe, has resulted in no information that would indicate the allegation is accurate,” the statement said.
The agency then praised Jackson for his “dedicated support” of Secret Service agents over the years, “often miles from home and under difficult travel conditions.”
“The Secret Service is grateful for the dedicated and outstanding professional service Rear Admiral Jackson has provided to the agency — and more importantly — his role supporting the greater presidential protection security apparatus,” the agency said.
The agency’s rare rebuke of an allegation that was surfaced in the media comes just as Jackson decided to drop out of the running for the VA chief gig to prevent further distractions.
In recent days, at least 20 former and current military personnel have spoken with the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee about their complaints regarding Jackson, who has served as the White House physician under three administrations. Jackson reportedly fostered a hostile work environment with a reputation for casually dispensing medication without examinations. Former employees also alleged that Jackson had an issue with “excessive drinking” on the job and once crashed a government vehicle while he was driving drunk. Jackson has denied all the allegations.