The White House issued a news release on Saturday with the names of nearly 40 administration staffers who have been granted promotions and new positions on President Donald Trump’s team.
Included in the list was U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, formerly the chief physician of the White House, who has now been promoted to serve as an Assistant to the President and as the Chief Medical Advisor for the White House.
Trump’s medical exam
Jackson first came to the attention of the public in early 2018 when he was hounded during a televised briefing by the mainstream media for giving President Trump and exemplary bill of health following an official annual exam.
Jackson was accused by some of lying about Trump’s health, of downplaying or glossing over potential health issues and of portraying the president’s health in too positive a light.
The media’s sharp criticism of Jackson over his report on Trump’s health was rather striking in that Jackson had also been former President Barack Obama’s chief physician — indeed, he was appointed to that position by Obama — and not a word had been uttered against his reviews of that president’s health.
VA secretary nomination withdrawn
However, attention really focused on Jackson shortly after Trump nominated him to serve as secretary of Veterans Affairs last year.
Fox News reported that Jackson ultimately withdrew his nomination for that position in April 2018 after he was smeared with a number of unproven allegations of scandalous behavior during his long tenure in the White House, including charges such as drinking alcohol on the job, drinking and driving government vehicles, inappropriate workplace behavior, creating a hostile work environment and over-prescribing certain medications.
Those allegations were pushed hard by Democratic Montana Sen. Jon Tester, and resulted in the Pentagon opening up an internal investigation.
Jackson denied the allegations against him, and said in a statement in April, “The allegations against me are completely false and fabricated. If they had any merit, I would not have been selected, promoted and entrusted to serve in such a sensitive and important role as physician to three presidents over the past 12 years.”
He’s earned Trump’s confidence
Trump has stood by Jackson throughout all of the smears and accusations, so much so that he has given him a promotion within the White House and requested the Pentagon also promote Jackson to the rank of two-star admiral.
Jackson’s nomination and promotion must be confirmed by the Senate Armed Forces Committee, and while that committee is chaired by the majority Republicans, it is anybody’s guess as to whether Jackson will be confirmed or not.
Regardless, President Trump has made it quite clear that he values Jackson and aims to keep him on the team.