• Tuesday, Aug 03, 2021
  • Last Update : 12:16 pm

White House doctor withdraws bid for US cabinet job

  • Published at 10:50 pm April 26th, 2018
White House doctor withdraws bid for US cabinet job

US President Donald Trump's doctor Ronny Jackson withdrew his nomination to head the Department of Veterans Affairs on Thursday following allegations he improperly handed out drugs and was drunk at work.

The announcement marked the latest staffing upset for an administration rocked by a series of firings and resignations in the little more than a year since Trump took office.

"I am regretfully withdrawing my nomination to be Secretary for the Department of Veterans Affairs," Jackson said in a statement.

Jackson insisted that the allegations against him were false, but said he was withdrawing anyway due to the distraction they were causing.

"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," Jackson said.

His withdrawal came just a day after he indicated that he would fight on, telling reporters his surprise nomination was "still moving ahead as planned."

Trump said he had seen the writing on the wall, but defended Jackson, saying he "would have done a great job."

"These are all false accusations... they're trying to destroy a man," he said in a phone-in interview with Fox News.

The president's daughter Ivanka also came to Jackson's defence, writing on Twitter that he is "a man of exceptional integrity, character and intellect."

She indicated that Jackson would stay on in his current job, tweeting: "We... look forward to continuing to see his warm smile each day at the White House!"

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Thursday that "he is here at work today."

Jackson's withdrawal came as the embattled head of the US Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, appeared before a congressional panel for what was set to be an hours-long grilling over mounting ethical questions.

Pruitt has notably been under fire for lavish spending on first-class travel with a large security detail, for a discount he received on a condominium linked to a lobbying firm, and for allegedly sharply boosting salaries of close aides at the EPA.

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