Was it because Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson gave a health report on President Trump the media and the Democratic Party didn’t like? Is it because he didn’t say Trump was mental unstable, a sex addict, a drug addict, or all in all dying from…something? It was the most deplorable pressers in recent memory, the one where Jackson gave the anticipated health report on the president last January. Then, came the attack on Jackson being a possible sycophant for Trump; guys, he was Obama’s doctor too—and trusted by him as well. Then, President Trump fired David Shulkin was fired as Veterans Affairs secretary. Jackson was nominated by Trump to replace him. This set the wheels in motion for Democrats to character assassinate Jackson as a pill pusher and someone who wrecked a car while intoxicated. Those were the two big charges lobbed against him by Democrats. Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) quarterbacked this effort, releasing a two-page memo fraught with damning charges against Jackson. Charges the rear admiral denies vehemently.
Well, as Katie wrote, the latter charges might have been fake news. The Secret Service found no evidence that he trashed a car while intoxicated and the White House also came to that conclusion (via WaPo):
White House records show Dr. Ronny Jackson “was in three incidents in government vehicles in the last five years, but none involved the use of alcohol and he was not found at fault.” https://t.co/mKZi44TSyA— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) April 27, 2018
The White House on Friday said officials had conducted a thorough review of presidential physician Ronny L. Jackson’s vehicle records and found three minor incidents but no evidence that he “wrecked” a car after drinking at a Secret Service going-away party, as was alleged in a document released by Senate Democrats this week.
The crash stood out as one of the most serious allegations in the two-page document, which also detailed accusations that Jackson drank on the job, improperly prescribed and dispensed medications, and created a “toxic” work environment. The Navy rear admiral withdrew his bid to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs on Thursday, less than 24 hours after the allegations came to light.
Although many news outlets, including The Washington Post, have described anonymous accounts of some of the other charges, no evidence has publicly surfaced that the crash happened since Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) authorized the release of the allegations on Wednesday.
AP has a deleted a breaking alert tweet that incorrectly attributed allegations that VA nominee Ronny Jackson recklessly prescribed drugs and crashed a car while drunk. A corrected tweet is coming.— The Associated Press (@AP) April 25, 2018
The publication added that Tester stands by “his decision to release the detailed list of allegations.” At least the Associated Press had the decency to correct the record (sort of). Jackson has withdrawn his nomination, but will remain as the president’s physician. It should come as no surprise that Tester is now in the GOP’s crosshairs (via The Hill):
Tester hasn’t been seen as a top target for Senate Republicans in a cycle where they have numerous pickup opportunities, but Republicans say that may have changed this week.
Trump is vowing that Tester will pay a steep political price for his takedown of VA nominee Ronny Jackson, especially given the president’s 2016 victory in Montana by 20 points — and it’s an argument being echoed by Republicans.
“I don’t think you want to be the tip of the spear of the anti-Trump movement in a state that voted so overwhelmingly for President Trump,” said a senior Senate GOP aide.
This was an obscene character assassination. Yes, there were some questions about his experience in management, but instead the Left smeared him as a drunk and pill pusher.
CNN noted that Tester was taking things a bit far with these allegations, noting that other White House doctors will hand out Ambien on foreign trips, for example. Dana Bash and David Gregory noted this, with the latter saying it’s a bit much to just drop the allegation that Dr. Jackson was peddling drugs. Either way, this strategy worked. Jackson will not helm the ship at the VA. They blocked a nominee through character assassination. Is this the point where we mark when the Democrats got their act together in terms of resisting Trump effectively? Maybe.