During his time working as the top White House physician, U.S. Rep. Ronny Jackson, R-Amarillo, berated employees, made sexual comments about a female subordinate, and violated the policy for drinking alcohol on a presidential trip, according to a report from the Department of Defense inspector general obtained by CNN.
The report also found that the freshman Texas congressman took prescription-strength sleeping medication that raised concerns from Jackson’s colleagues about his ability to provide proper care.
The findings in the report stem from a yearslong investigation into Jackson, who was nominated in 2018 by former President Donald Trump to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs. But Jackson withdrew from consideration during allegations of professional misconduct, including drinking on the job and overprescribing medication.
At the time, Jackson called the accusations “completely false and fabricated.” On Tuesday night, Jackson again defended his actions in a statement to The Texas Tribune.
"Three years ago I was the subject of a political hit job because I stood with President Trump,” Jackson said in a written statement. “Today, a Department of Defense Inspector General report has resurrected those same false allegations from my years with the Obama Administration because I have refused to turn my back on President Trump.”
Jackson also said he was “proud of the work environment I fostered under three different Presidents of both parties; I take my professional responsibility with respect to prescription drug practices seriously; and I flat out reject any allegation that I consumed alcohol while on duty.”
The Defense Department review was based on interviews with 78 witnesses and White House documents, CNN reported.
In November 2020, Jackson was elected to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry. Jackson represents the congressional district that includes most of the Panhandle and parts of northern Texas such as Wichita Falls, where Gov. Greg Abbott was born.