Speaking from the White House Wednesday, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders backed Dr. Ronny Jackson as qualified to lead the Veteran's Affairs Administration and stressed his background as fully vetted.
“Dr. Jackson’s record as a White House physician has been impeccable. In fact, because Dr. Jackson has worked within arms reach of three presidents, he has received more vetting than most nominees. Given his unique position of trust and responsibility Dr. Jackson’ background and character were evaluated during three different administrations," Sanders said. "Dr. Jackson has had at least four independent background investigations conducted during his time at the White House, including an FBI investigation conducted as part of the standard nomination vetting process.”
"He's a highly qualified individual," she continued.
During an interview with Fox News Tuesday night, White House Director of Strategic Communications Mercedes Schlapp called allegations of professional misconduct against Jackson "completely false."
"I just think it's unfortunate that what we're seeing in these confirmation processes are these very qualified, honorable individuals being dragged through the mud. That needs to stop," Schlapp said.
Yesterday during a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron, President Trump backed Jackson but said he would allow him to make a decision about whether to proceed with the nomination.
"He's an admiral. He's a great leader. And they questioned him about every little thing. What he is is a leader and a good man. But I told him I said, 'You know what, Doc? You're too fine a person.' His son is a top student at Annapolis. He's a high-quality person. I said, 'What do you need it for?'" Trump said. "So he'll be making, it's totally his decision, but he'll be making a decision."
"He's a fine man. I'll always stand behind him. I'd let it be his choice," he continued.