The Department of Defense inspector general has issued a scathing review of Rep. Ronny Jackson during his time serving as the top White House physician, concluding that he made “sexual and denigrating” comments about a female subordinate, violated the policy for drinking alcohol while on a presidential trip and took prescription-strength sleeping medication that prompted concerns from his colleagues about his ability to provide proper care.
Jackson claimed the report was politically motivated in a statement to CNN on Tuesday, saying the inspector general “resurrected” old allegations against him because he refused to “turn my back on President (Donald) Trump,” who was a vocal supporter of his 2020 congressional bid. He also told CNN he rejects “any allegation that I consumed alcohol while on duty.”
Of the 60 witnesses interviewed by the Defense Department IG about the command climate under Jackson, only 13 had positive comments, while 38 spoke about unprofessional behavior, intimidation and poor treatment of subordinates
One witness said that Jackson “established a workplace where fear and intimidation were kind of the hallmarks of him, his command, and control of his subordinates.”
At least six witnesses, all of whom were medical personnel, also told investigators that Jackson took Ambien, a prescription medicine used to treat insomnia, on long flights while on duty for providing medical care for government officials, including the President
But inside the White House medical unit, a military-run office with a few dozen doctors and nurses, Dr. Jackson was viewed as a bully and someone who kept sloppy medical records, drank too much and loosely dispensed strong drugs to curry favor with the powerful politicians and political aides he admired. Three current and former colleagues said that Dr. Jackson was sometimes intoxicated during overseas trips and that staff members were often ordered to leave a bottle of rum and a Diet Coke in his hotel room.NYT, April, 2018