White House Walks Back Trump's Suggestion That VA Nominee Step Aside

President Barack Obama speaks with Dr. Ronny Jackson in the Outer Oval Office Feb. 21 2014...This official White House

The President said he spoke with Admiral Jackson earlier and offered some advice saying he wouldn't go through with it and that Ronny didn't need the political headaches, but he'd let it be his choice if he wanted to proceed with trying to get confirmed.

"The White House did little or no vetting of his background before announcing his nomination on Twitter", says the New York Times. Going from White House physician to running the massive - and massively dysfunctional - bureaucracy at the VA was seen as bridge way too far by many senators, who were caught by surprise by Jackson's selection and who anxious privately that Trump had picked him exclusively because the two men had a personal rapport.

At another point he said that while Jackson will make the decision, "I don't want to put a man through the process like this".

Yet even before the allegations against him, Jackson was facing an uphill climb to confirmation, with senators broadly skeptical about his lack of large-scale management experience. Jeffrey Kuhlman with creating a poor working climate. Kuhlman was the physician to President Barack Obama at the time. "We're vetting hard right now", he told reporters.

"Ronny's positive impact can not be overstated". The White House and Secret Service were asked to comment on these reports but declined, according to CNN'. "Already at a level of performance and responsibility that exceeds his current rank, promote to Rear Admiral now". "He's served as the physician to three Presidents_Republican and Democrat_and been praised by them all", said White House spokesman Hogan Gidley.

Even before the troubling new reports, Jackson's nomination was questioned because he had no management experience to qualify him to run one of the largest government departments.

The senior official said that assessment "provided undisputable support that Dr. Jackson worked within the official guidelines while providing world class care to two Presidential Administrations", adding: "This independent review confirms Dr. Jackson's medicinal prescriptions were completely appropriate".

Jackson, we were told, wants to stay and fight.

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But Jackson met with Trump late in the day, and afterward a White House official said the doctor would "certainly not be railroaded by a bitter ex-colleague".

Moran told reporters that Ronny also denies doing anything "improper" and said he looks forward to answering all questions because nothing he has done would "disqualify" him from this post.

Lawmakers also expressed concerns about Jackson's supporting views of privatizing veterans' medical care-a proposal opposed by millions of vets and a "red line" for the Democratic Party.

Regardless of the validity of the accusations against Jackson, even members of Trump's own team blamed him (anonymously, of course) for generating yet another unnecessary scandal. "What does he need it for? It's totally his decision", Trump said during a press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron.

But the allegations that surfaced Tuesday morning and then Trump's signaling he would be fine with Jackson stepping aside created a firestorm on Capitol Hill. Panel member Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., told MSNBC Tuesday night that the White House had blocked him from viewing the Federal Bureau of Investigation background check conducted as part of the nomination process.

"The Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs is postponing the hearing to consider the nominee to be secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in light of new information presented to the committee", Isakson and Tester said in a joint statement released Tuesday. Meanwhile, people who still work in the medical unit fear for their jobs now that they have spoken out, and Jackson's confirmation hangs loosely by a congressional thread.

As controversy engulfed Jackson Monday, Trump appeared to stand by his nominee while hitting out at the reports questioning his previous conduct.

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