Trump's VA nominee in deep trouble as Democrats pounce

Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, Donald Trump's nominee to head the Veterans Affairs administration, is in deep trouble as more allegations of improper behavior have been made against him by Democrats.

The president, himself, is wondering aloud whether Jackson should step aside "before things get worse.

CNN:

New allegations of improper behavior against Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, the White House physician, came as a surprise in the West Wing when they were published by Senate Democrats Wednesday afternoon and have left the President and his aides more uncertain about whether Jackson's nomination can move forward, three White House officials said.

While the White House was preparing for the possibility Jackson could withdraw, it was not clear Wednesday evening whether Jackson was leaning toward dropping out or pressing forward.

After meeting with GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill, Jackson returned to the White House.

Jackson emerged late Wednesday from White House spokesman Raj Shah's office with press secretary Sarah Sanders, Shah and deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley.

Jackson told reporters, "Look forward to talking to you guys in the next few days."

Sanders said they were having a "debrief" on the meetings on the Hill.

The President and his aides were openly discussing the possibility that Jackson could pull his nomination, the officials said, and aides late Wednesday afternoon began preparing for a possible withdrawal -- though White House officials said the decision remains Jackson's.

Trump's thinking on Jackson's nomination has been rapidly evolving. Earlier on Wednesday, he raised the prospect of going into the briefing room today to stick up for Jackson, simply to say he is a good guy and has his support.

But several senior administration officials, including Sanders, advised him against doing so.

The fresh allegations appeared to change even the President's thinking, who wondered aloud on Wednesday afternoon whether Jackson should step aside now "before things get worse," an official said. Trump was also astonished that few have publicly come to Jackson's defense leading the President to believe Jackson's fate is more perilous than it seemed.

Trump shouldn't be surprised that no one is rushing to get in front of the microphones to defend his nominee. Few in Washington are willing to latch on to a drowning man.

But the amazing thing about this smear campaign against Jackson is the ease with which unsubtantiated allegations are gaining traction.

Senate Democrats on Wednesday afternoon released a two-page document summarizing allegations 23 current and former colleagues of Jackson have made against him behind closed doors. Lawmakers have not yet substantiated the claims and are investigating them further, but they included allegations that he was "abusive" to colleagues, loosely handled prescription pain killers and was periodically intoxicated.

Show me a good boss and I'll show you some employees who claim he is "abusive." And being "periodically intoxicated" may be the most bogus allegation to make in a city like Washington where the rails of politics are often greased with plenty of alcohol.

And what is "loosely handled" prescriptions? What does that mean? When you don't bother to substantiate charges, we call that a smear. And Jackson is being tried and convicted in the court of public opinion as Democrats use their allies in the media to spread what may or may not be valid allegations.

The Democrats are using Jackson as a whipping boy because they believe he favors a form of VA privatization, as some in the administration have proposed. He will probably drop out before long, a victim of the partisan times in which we live. 

Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, Donald Trump's nominee to head the Veterans Affairs administration, is in deep trouble as more allegations of improper behavior have been made against him by Democrats.

The president, himself, is wondering aloud whether Jackson should step aside "before things get worse.

CNN:

New allegations of improper behavior against Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, the White House physician, came as a surprise in the West Wing when they were published by Senate Democrats Wednesday afternoon and have left the President and his aides more uncertain about whether Jackson's nomination can move forward, three White House officials said.

While the White House was preparing for the possibility Jackson could withdraw, it was not clear Wednesday evening whether Jackson was leaning toward dropping out or pressing forward.

After meeting with GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill, Jackson returned to the White House.

Jackson emerged late Wednesday from White House spokesman Raj Shah's office with press secretary Sarah Sanders, Shah and deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley.

Jackson told reporters, "Look forward to talking to you guys in the next few days."

Sanders said they were having a "debrief" on the meetings on the Hill.

The President and his aides were openly discussing the possibility that Jackson could pull his nomination, the officials said, and aides late Wednesday afternoon began preparing for a possible withdrawal -- though White House officials said the decision remains Jackson's.

Trump's thinking on Jackson's nomination has been rapidly evolving. Earlier on Wednesday, he raised the prospect of going into the briefing room today to stick up for Jackson, simply to say he is a good guy and has his support.

But several senior administration officials, including Sanders, advised him against doing so.

The fresh allegations appeared to change even the President's thinking, who wondered aloud on Wednesday afternoon whether Jackson should step aside now "before things get worse," an official said. Trump was also astonished that few have publicly come to Jackson's defense leading the President to believe Jackson's fate is more perilous than it seemed.

Trump shouldn't be surprised that no one is rushing to get in front of the microphones to defend his nominee. Few in Washington are willing to latch on to a drowning man.

But the amazing thing about this smear campaign against Jackson is the ease with which unsubtantiated allegations are gaining traction.

Senate Democrats on Wednesday afternoon released a two-page document summarizing allegations 23 current and former colleagues of Jackson have made against him behind closed doors. Lawmakers have not yet substantiated the claims and are investigating them further, but they included allegations that he was "abusive" to colleagues, loosely handled prescription pain killers and was periodically intoxicated.

Show me a good boss and I'll show you some employees who claim he is "abusive." And being "periodically intoxicated" may be the most bogus allegation to make in a city like Washington where the rails of politics are often greased with plenty of alcohol.

And what is "loosely handled" prescriptions? What does that mean? When you don't bother to substantiate charges, we call that a smear. And Jackson is being tried and convicted in the court of public opinion as Democrats use their allies in the media to spread what may or may not be valid allegations.

The Democrats are using Jackson as a whipping boy because they believe he favors a form of VA privatization, as some in the administration have proposed. He will probably drop out before long, a victim of the partisan times in which we live.