Trump opens door for Jackson to leave as veterans agency nominee

by Reuters
Tuesday, 24 April 2018 18:00 GMT

(Recasts with comments from Trump)

By Roberta Rampton and Susan Cornwell

WASHINGTON, April 24 (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday left open the possibility that his doctor Ronny Jackson would withdraw as his pick to lead the Veterans Affairs department after allegations stalled his Senate confirmation hearing.

The Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs postponed the hearing, which had been set for Wednesday, as it looked into allegations that Jackson had overseen a hostile work environment as White House physician and allowed the overprescribing of drugs. The allegations were first reported by the New York Times.

Trump said it was up to Jackson, a U.S. Navy rear admiral who has worked as a presidential physician since the George W. Bush administration, about whether to continue as nominee.

"I don't want to put a man through - who's not a political person - I don't want to put a man through a process like this. It's too ugly and too disgusting. So, we'll see what happens," Trump said at a news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron.

"It's totally his decision, but he'll be making a decision," said Trump, adding he stood behind Jackson. (Reporting by Richard Cowan Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Chris Reese)

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