‘Lack Of Trust’: IG Report Suggested WH Replace Dr. Ronny Jackson In 2012

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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WASHINGTON (AP) — A watchdog report ordered in 2012 by Dr. Ronny Jackson — President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs — found that he and a rival physician exhibited “unprofessional behaviors” as they engaged in a power struggle over the White House medical unit.

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.

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Notable Replies

  1. Seems like a proponent of “extreme vetting” would have turned up the Navy’s own personnel records if he gave a damn about the veterans he’s always shedding tears over. And “aren’t thinking nicely”? Tell me his vocabulary isn’t shrinking. Normal unimpaired adults don’t talk like that.

  2. Avatar for pck53 pck53 says:

    Typical Drumpf
    Doesn’t have guts to make his own personnel decision. He would rather leave his nominee to twist in the wind.
    Drumpf has no leadership ability and he couldn’t manage a local Taco Bell.

  3. PP’s and his posse are extremely effective at just one thing: nominating job candidates with a record of incompetence, abuse, or corruption. Every. Single. Nominee.

  4. "a bunch of politicians that aren’t thinking nicely about our country?”

    Truly, the eloquence of JFK has been surpassed in this age.

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