WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork) — White House doctor Ronny Jackson, President Donald Trump’s pick to be the next Veterans Administration secretary, has withdrawn his nomination.
CBS News reports that Jackson announced his withdrawal in a statement Thursday:
One of the greatest honors in my life has been to serve this country as a physician both on the battlefield with United States Marines and as proud member of the United States Navy.
It has been my distinct honor and privilege to work at the White House and serve three Presidents.
Going into this process, I expected tough questions about how to best care for our veterans, but I did not expect to have to dignify baseless and anonymous attacks on my character and integrity.
The allegations against me are completely false and fabricated. If they had any merit, I would not have been selected, promoted and entrusted to serve in such a sensitive and important role as physician to three presidents over the past 12 years.
In my role as a doctor, I have tirelessly worked to provide excellent care for all my patients. In doing so, I have always adhered to the highest ethical standards.
Unfortunately, because of how Washington works, these false allegations have become a distraction for this President and the important issue we must be addressing – how we give the best care to our nation’s heroes.
While I will forever be grateful for the trust and confidence President Trump has placed in me by giving me this opportunity, I am regretfully withdrawing my nomination to be Secretary for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
I am proud of my service to the country and will always be committed to the brave veterans who volunteer to defend our freedoms.
When asked if Jackson would stay on as White House doctor, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “Admiral Jackson is a doctor in the United States Navy assigned to the White House and is here at work today.”
In a tweet, Ivanka Trump called Jackson “a man of exceptional integrity, character and intellect. We are grateful for his long and distinguished service to our Nation and look forward to continuing to see his warm smile each day at the White House!”
Jackson met with White House officials Wednesday night, where CBS News says he talked about being fatigued by the process.
Jackson has faced a series of allegations, including that he improperly dispensed pain medication and wrecked a government vehicle while allegedly driving drunk.
On Wednesday, Jackson said he “never wrecked a car,” adding “I have no idea where that is coming from.”
Jackson’s confirmation hearing, which was scheduled for Wednesday, was postponed. The president nominated Jackson last month after firing David Shulkin.
Jackson became a White House doctor under former President George W. Bush in 2006. He was then appointed physician to the president under former President Barack Obama.