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Ronny Jackson, a Texan, withdraws from consideration to head Veterans Affairs

Jackson's nomination went into free fall as reports emerged that alleged Jackson led a hostile work environment, over-prescribed drugs and possibly drank on the job.

Ronny Jackson is a rear admiral in the Navy and a longtime White House physician.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson, a native Texan, withdrew from consideration to serve as Secretary of Veterans Affairs on Thursday.

Jackson was the personal physician to former President Barack Obama, and he remained in that role under President Donald Trump. Last month, to the surprise of many, Trump announced via Twitter his plan to nominate Jackson to lead the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

While a respected physician, many in Washington have questioned whether Jackson has the skill-set and managerial experience to run one of the most sprawling and troubled government bureaucracies. Bipartisan leaders of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs officially delayed Jackson's confirmation hearing earlier this week. 

Jackson's nomination went into free fall as reports emerged that alleged Jackson led a hostile work environment, over-prescribed drugs and possibly drank on the job. 

Speaking at a news conference Tuesday, Trump defended Jackson but suggested that Jackson might withdraw himself from consideration. Trump cited potentially unfair scrutiny from Democrats in Congress, though both Democrats and Republicans have raised serious questions about Jackson's nomination. 

Jackson is a native of Levelland, outside of Lubbock. He is a 1991 graduate of Texas A&M University and a 1995 graduate of the University of Texas Medical Branch. Prior to his service on the presidential physician's team, he served as an emergency medicine physician in the mid-2000s and was deployed to Iraq.

Disclosure: Texas A&M University and the University of Texas Medical Branch have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism. Find a complete list of them here.

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