NEW YORK (AP) – The Department of Defense Inspector General released a scathing report on Wednesday into the conduct of Ronny Jackson, now a congressman from Texas, while working as a leading physician at the House White.
The internal investigation concluded that Jackson made “sexual and disparaging” comments about a subordinate, violated drinking policy while on a presidential trip, and took prescription sleeping pills that raised concerns among his colleagues. their ability to provide appropriate medical care.
The multi-year investigation of Jackson, who was elected to the House in November, examined allegations of his conduct while serving in the administrations of both Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump.
Jackson, who gained notoriety for his exaggerated claims about Trump’s health, denied the allegations and said he was the victim of a “political hit” because of his close ties to the former Republican president.
After interviewing 78 witnesses and reviewing a host of White House documents, investigators concluded that Jackson, who had reached the rank of Rear Admiral, failed to treat his subordinates with dignity and respect. They also highlighted incidents of inappropriate behavior during at least two international presidential trips.
The report also said the Jackson investigation “was limited in scope and unproductive,” with Trump’s White House lawyer insisting on being present at all talks, which had a “potential deterrent effect” on him. ‘investigation.
The Pentagon report, in part, focused on Obama’s trip to the Philippines in 2014. Prior to the trip, witnesses said, Jackson told a male colleague he believed a professional woman from the health they were working with was attractive and, using colorful language, indicated that he “would like to see more of his tattoos.”
While in Manila, witnesses said a “visibly drunk” Jackson returned to the hotel where the medical team was staying and started yelling and knocking on the door of the subordinate’s hotel room. and 2 a.m.
Witnesses said he created so much noise they feared it would wake Obama up.
“He had kind of bloodshot eyes,” the woman told investigators. “You could smell the alcohol on his breath, and he leaned into my room and said, ‘I need you.’ I felt really uncomfortable.
The Department of Defense investigation, which was first reported by CNN, also found Jackson violated the medical unit’s alcohol policy while on a trip to Argentina. And witnesses said Jackson took sleeping pills on long trips overseas, leaving his subordinates concerned that it left him unable to work.
Rumors of his conduct began in 2018, when Trump appointed Jackson as head of the veterans department. After allegations emerged that Jackson created a hostile work environment and poorly distributed prescription drugs, the White House withdrew his candidacy.
Jackson then used claims that he had been unfairly targeted – and then had Trump’s backing – to fuel a victory in a crowded GOP primary race to represent a district in northeast Texas. He then easily won the seat in November.
Jackson has denied all allegations about his conduct and said in a statement Wednesday that “my entire professional life has been defined by duty and service.”
“I have not and never will conduct myself in a way that undermines the sincerity with which I swear an oath to my country or to my constituents,” Jackson said.
Jackson was highly regarded by most Obama and Trump staff and grew close to the two presidents. He garnered national attention and became the subject of late-night comedy jokes in early 2018 when he said that Trump “had amazingly good genes, and that’s just the way God has him. created. “
“I told the president that if he had a healthier diet over the past 20 years, he could live to be 200 years old,” Jackson said at the time.
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