WASHINGTON – Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson announced Thursday he is withdrawing from consideration as secretary for the Department of Veteran Affairs, calling the allegations against him "false and fabricated."
Jackson is accused of drinking on duty, handing out prescription drugs on Air Force One and keeping questionable records about controlled substances. Jackson has denied the allegations.
"If they had any merit, I would not have been selected, promoted and entrusted to serve in such a sensitive and important role as physician to three presidents over the past 12 years," Jackson said in a statement issued Thursday morning.
Jackson added that it's been a "distinct honor and privilege" to serve the White House and three presidents.
"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," said Jackson.
Meanwhile, the White House notes Jackson has undergone several background checks, none of which raised red flags.
"Dr. Jackson has had at least four independent background investigations conducted during his time at the White House," said White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. "The investigations revealed no area of concern."
Jackson said he will be "forever grateful" to President Donald Trump for giving him the opportunity to serve as his physician.
President Trump has yet to announce who will replace Jackson as his nominee for VA secretary.