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Ronny Jackson says he's victim of 'political hit job' after getting busted for abuses

The Pentagon’s acting inspector general said Rep. Ronny Jackson drank on the job and abused his staff when he worked in the White House.

By Josh Israel - March 04, 2021
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Ronny Jackson

Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX) accused a Pentagon inspector general of carrying out a “political hit job” against him Wednesday after the release of a report noting misconduct on his part during his time serving as director of the White House Medical Unit and physician to Donald Trump.

The acting inspector general was himself appointed by Trump.

“This politically motivated report is a BLATANT disregard for the TRUTH,” the first-term Texas congressman tweeted. “These accusations are FALSE, and they’re coming because I stand FIRM in my support for President Trump and his America First agenda.”

In a video statement, Jackson denied the allegations contained in a report issued by the Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General that he drank alcohol on the job and abused his staff while serving in the White House.

“This is a political hit job because I have stood firm in my support for President Trump and his ‘America First’ agenda. The far left and the liberal press has demanded that I back away from the support, and I will not,” Jackson said.

The report says, “We concluded that [Rear Admiral] Jackson’s overall course of conduct toward subordinates disparaged, belittled, bullied, and humiliated them, and fostered a negative work environment by failing to treat subordinates with dignity and respect. … We concluded that RDML Jackson engaged in inappropriate conduct involving the use of alcohol during two incidents. Both incidents occurred during presidential trips while RDML Jackson was in charge of providing medical care and treatment to U.S. Government officials.”

A Jackson spokesperson did not immediately respond to an inquiry for this story.

But if the report is a hit job by an anti-Trump partisan, Trump deserves at least part of the blame, having picked the person in charge of the Office of the Inspector General.

Last April, Trump removed the inspectors general at the Department of Defense and several other agencies. He explained at the time that he distrusted then-acting Department of Defense inspector general Glenn Fine because he had served in the previous administration: “We have a lot of IGs from the Obama era, and I left them, largely. But when we have reports of bias, and we have different things coming in.”

He replaced Fine with Sean O’Donnell on an acting basis — a position he still holds. Trump had appointed O’Donnell in late 2019 to be the Environmental Protection Agency’s inspector general. For nearly a year, he has held both positions.

Republican lawmakers praised O’Donnell’s qualifications during his EPA confirmation process.

“Mr. O’Donnell is a very well qualified individual and will bring a wealth of experience and expertise to this critically important position,” said Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, who then chaired the Committee on Environment and Public Works. “I applaud President Trump’s nomination of such an experienced and dedicated public servant.”

“I am looking forward to supporting your confirmation,” agreed Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan. “I think you have a really strong background for this important position. It is a big mission, the OIG.”

Trump unsuccessfully attempted to appoint Jackson to be secretary of veterans affairs in 2018. Jackson’s nomination was withdrawn after allegations that he’d misused alcohol on the job became public.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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