Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson, White House physician and President Donald Trump's choice to lead the Veterans Affairs Department, is under fire tonight amid allegations of drinking on the job, improperly prescribing drugs, and creating a hostile work environment. NPR reports that the charges are unsubstantiated at this time, but they are numerous and serious enough to have caused an indefinite postponement of a hearing on his nominations so the accusations can be investigated. Asked whether he "categorically denied" the charges, Jackson said, "I'm looking forward to the hearings, so we can sit down and I can explain everything to everyone and answer all the senators' questions."
Montana Senator Jon Tester, the top Democrat on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, indicates that beginning late last week the committee was notified by over 20 people, including military personnel, who have worked with Ronny Jackson. All of them are reportedly willing to talk. Most of the alleged activity was related to Jackson's behavior during international travel, including stories that he was often drunk while on duty. Stories of the nominee's behavior go back to the Obama administration. Kansas Republican Senator Jerry Moran, who also sits on the committee, says that Ronny Jackson has denied to him that he ever had a drink while on duty.
Accusations of improperly prescribing drugs also allegedly took place during international trips. Jackson is said to have frequently given staff members drugs to wake them up or help them sleep during trips that involved multiple timezone changes.