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'I Know Things About Tester I Could Say, Too': Trump Defends Embattled WH Doctor Ronny Jackson


WASHINGTON – White House physician Ronny Jackson is here to stay, at least for now. 

"Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson is currently on active duty, assigned to the White House as deputy assistant to the president. Despite published reports, there are no personnel announcements at this time," Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah said in a statement. 

Jackson, who has served as a White House doctor since 2006, announced last week he would withdraw his nomination to run the Department of Veterans Affairs.

This led to a slew of reports that Jackson would also give up his role as White House doctor. 

The Navy rear admiral and doctor was the subject of bipartisan criticism from members of Congress over his lack of qualifications when it comes to leading the 370,000-employee agency. 

Questions about Jackson's conduct while in his role as White House physician also cast doubt on his ability to run the VA, which is already mired in controversies of its own. 

Jackson is accused of drunkenly banging on the hotel door of a female subordinate, being involved in an alcohol-related car crash, and improperly dispensing prescription medications. 

"He hands out prescriptions like candy. In fact, in the White House, they call him the Candy Man," Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), the top Democrat on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, charged in an interview with CNN.

He says about 20 people got ahold of the committee with reports about the doctor. 

Tester says the accusers say the doctor was kind to superiors but demeaning to subordinates. 

Meanwhile, The US Secret Service says it has no record of the door-banging incident which took place under the Obama administration. 

"Over the last 48 hours, media outlets have alleged that US Secret Service personnel were forced to intervene during a presidential foreign travel assignment in order to prevent disturbing (former) President Barack Obama. The Secret Service has no such record of any incident – specifically, any incident involving Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson," they wrote.

Now, the reputation of the former combat physician is at stake. 

Critics have said Tester should have saved his concerns for the confirmation hearing instead of airing them to the media.  

President Trump calls it a smear campaign and is calling for Tester's resignation. 

"Admiral Jackson is the kind of man that those in Montana would most respect and admire, and now, for no reason whatsoever, his reputation has been shattered. Not fair, Tester!" Trump also tweeted. 

"I know things about Tester that I could say, too, and if I said them, he'd never be elected again," Trump said at a rally Saturday night in Michigan. 

Tester is facing a reelection campaign in November in a state Trump won in 2016.

This latest fiasco opens Tester to criticism, leaves the VA in limbo (again) and Jackson remaining as White House physician, for now. 

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