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Home / US / The White House is on the side of a contested candidate for the leadership of Veterans Affairs

The White House is on the side of a contested candidate for the leadership of Veterans Affairs



The White House doctor, Ronny Jackson, talks to reporters during a briefing at the White House in Jnouary. (Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP)

The White House said Tuesday that Ronny L. Jackson is head of the Department of Veterans Affairs after President Trump's hearing was postponed last week Legislature

"Admiral Jackson's record of strong, decisive leadership is exactly what is needed at VA to guarantee our veterans get the benefits they deserve," said White House spokesman Hogan Gidley in a statement.

Jackson, the White House doctor and former combat doctor, was due to leave on Wednesday before the Senate committee testify to veteran affairs. However, the hearing was delayed due to concerns about his qualifications and oversight of the White House medical staff, as well as other allegations of Jackson's behavior reported to the committee.

"We will hear a hearing time in the future, but not Wednesday," said Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), The chairman of the panel.

Isakson and Sen. Jon Tester (Mont.), The highest-ranking Democrat in the committee, later issued a joint statement stating that the hearing was "postponed following new information being submitted to the committee".

"We are accepting our constitutional obligation to thoroughly and carefully review each candidate sent to the Senate for confirmation," the statement said.

Isakson and testers also wrote to President Trump on Tuesday morning, requesting the White House to submit all documents relating to Jackson's service in the White House medical department and any communications between the Pentagon and the White House military office since 2006 include allegations or Incidents associated with the doctor. The Senators also requested information that White Houses has about any allegations against Jackson that were never forwarded to the Pentagon.

The committee began investigating the allegations made against Jackson late last week, said Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), A member of the panel

"I think the White House must be complete, accurate and accurate today give objective answers to these questions in full, I mean immediately, "said Blumenthal, who also emphasized that the allegations were unfounded. "Weakening those questions is a bad job for the VA and for Admiral Jackson."

Speaking to reporters, neither Isakson nor Tester said that Jackson's nomination should be withdrawn.

Tester said, "If [allegations] turns out to be true," he would be worried, but added, "But I do not know if it's true at this point."

Both Isakson and testers wanted that Details of the allegations surrounding Jackson do not comment on whether the allegations are detailed in documents or through word-of-mouth interviews and when they actually started the investigation.

Isakson said the confirmation hearing would be delayed because the committee "needs some time to get more information" [19659016] "I'm worried that the press is creating far too many stories that are not true before we even have a chance to have a meeting, "said Isakson after a private meeting with testers on Tuesday morning. "So I think that Mr. Jackson and I and Senator Tester and everyone in Congress need to take a deep breath, let's give the man a chance to be heard, give us a chance to ask the questions that [asked]. "

In addition to Jackson's lack of management experience in a large organization, the doctor had come under fire for his ardent assessment of Trump's health after the president had his yearly physical exam in January. Jackson then said that the president could live with a healthier diet until the age of 200. In the last few days, new concerns about Jackson's management of the White House medical office have surfaced, officials said, refusing to provide details.

"Admiral Jackson was at the forefront of the deadly struggle and saved many others' life service in this country, serving as a doctor to three Presidential Republicans and Democrats – and was praised by all," Gidley said in his statement.

Jackson was a surprise candidate for David Shulkin, a survivor of the Obama era and once a favorite of Trump, who was fired by the president on March 28. Shulkin was an experienced hospital director and had previously served as department undersecretary. His support from the White House went back to an internal investigation of his business travel and disputes over his commitment to outsourcing veterans health care, which is among the government's priorities.

A senior veterans group said on Tuesday that it was important for the Senate to review a candidate heading the department that had seven secretaries since the beginning of the war Afghanistan

"About this critical leadership position in this turbulent time [America] can not afford the White House misfire, "said Paul Riec Khoff, founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. "IAVA members are calling on the Senate to do its job at this crucial time and ensure that every VA Secretary candidate lives up to this great responsibility."

Emily Wax-Thibodeaux and Lisa Rein contributed to this report.


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