Donald Trump nominated White House physician Ronny Jackson to be the next head of the Department of Veterans Affairs. It was a nomination that brought a lot of surprised reactions. Now, Trump is making it clear that Jackson needs to make a decision on whether to continue forward as the nominee.
Jackson is going through quite a bit of scrutiny over reports of workplace misconduct and over-prescribing medication. Those allegations have not been proven yet, but Jackson has been put under a lot of stress due to the accusations.
During his press conference, Trump said that Jackson was "one of the finest people that I have met" and "a great leader." He also stated that he did not want to force Jackson to go through an "ugly" nomination process due to all of the issues that the physician is already dealing with. To this point in time, Jackson has not responded or made his intentions clear.
Hogan Gidley, the White House deputy press secretary, had this to say about Jackson in support of the nomination, as noted by CNN.
"Admiral Jackson has been on the front lines of deadly combat and saved the lives of many others in service to this country. He's served as the physician to three Presidents—Republican and Democrat—and been praised by them all. Admiral Jackson's record of strong, decisive leadership is exactly what's needed at the VA to ensure our veterans receive the benefits they deserve."Jackson's confirmation hearing has already been postponed due to the ongoing drama. The hearing was supposed to happen on Wednesday, but things changed very quickly.
Many of Trump's nominations for different positions have been contested very quickly. Whether they are contested due to issues outside of the nomination or problems with the candidate itself and their fitness to perform in their position has been the question.
It will be interesting to see what Jackson decides to do moving forward. Should he choose to continue forward with the process, he is going to receive a lot of backlash. Backing out of the nomination seems to be the route that Trump would choose, as he said as much in a press conference.All of that being said, more news on Jackson's decision will be coming in the near future. Trump seems to be pushing Jackson in the direction of backing out of the nomination but did make it clear that the decision is entirely up to Jackson and that he will support the decision that is made.