The report, reviewed Tuesday by The Associated Press, suggested the White House consider replacing Jackson or Dr. Jeffrey Kuhlman — or both. Kuhlman was the physician to President Barack Obama at the time.
The six-page report by the Navy’s Medical Inspector General found a lack of trust in the leadership and low morale among staff members, who described the working environment as “being caught between parents going through a bitter divorce.”
“There is a severe and pervasive lack of trust in the leadership that has deteriorated to the point that staff walk on ‘eggshells,'” the report found.
President Donald Trump suggested Tuesday that Jackson, his pick for VA secretary, might want to withdraw. Jackson has been hurt by the emergence of allegations about inappropriate workplace behavior, including over-prescribing prescription drugs and drinking on the job.
The inspector general report reviewed by The AP includes no references to improper prescribing or the use of alcohol.
Trump said he would stand behind Jackson, calling the White House doctor “one of the finest people that I have met.” But he questioned why Jackson would want to put up with the scrutiny, which he characterized as unfair.
“I wouldn’t do it,” Trump said. “What does he need it for? What do you need this for? To be abused by a bunch of politicians that aren’t thinking nicely about our country?”
He said Jackson would make a decision soon.
Associated Press writers Hope Yen, Lisa Mascaro, Catherine Lucey, Alan Fram and Matthew Daly contributed to this report.