Less than 24 hours after President Trump appeared to stand by his nominee for VA Chief, following reports of previous "unprofessional" behavior by Dr. Ronny Jackson, while hitting out at the reports questioning his previous conduct:
“He is a high-quality person. It's totally his decision,” Trump said during a press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron.
“So he'll be making a decision. I don't want to put a man through a process like this. It's too ugly and too disgusting. So, we'll see what happens. He'll make a decision."
NewsWeek reports that Democrat Senator John Tester (the ranking member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee) told CNN, relaying allegations he had received from concerned individuals, that Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson, who has been the White House physician since 2006, was known as the “candy man” for his readiness to distribute prescription drugs.
“On overseas trips, the admiral would go down the aisle way of the airplane and say, 'All right, who wants to go to sleep?' And hand out the prescription drugs like they were candy and put them to sleep, and then give them the drugs to wake them back up again,” he said, citing reports from 20 or more people.
Tester added, with dramatic aplomb:
”These are called controlled substances for a reason.”
So to be clear - Jackson was not peddling crystal meth on street corners, or feeding the nation's opiate addiction; he was prescribing ambien and provigil.
Of course, what this sounds like is pretty standard operating procedure for long-haul flights in the military, and besides, this is more a question for a medical board and not relevant as to whether Jackson can run one of the largest bureaucracies in the nation.
Tester also cited allegations that Jackson was drunk on duty during his time working for the administration of former President Barack Obama.
This is not the first time that Dr. Jackson's prescriptions on Ambien have been brought up by the left, here's Sarah Okeson in January after Trump's health check...
Does Trump have a drug problem?
An overlooked footnote to Trump’s highly publicized health checkup earlier this month was a passing reference at a news conference to his use of the widely abused sleep aid, Ambien.
Dr. Ronny Jackson, the White House doctor, then said Trump takes Ambien when he goes on long flights. The drug, approved by the Food and Drug administration in 1992, was meant for short-term use to treat insomnia.
“The President does take some Ambien on occasion” when he travels overseas, Jackson said. “Only during travel.”
Since sleeping pills come with a range of dangerous side effects that can linger into the following day, experts suggest using them sporadically and only in specific instances to avoid health risks. The drug is known to sometimes turn people into “Ambien zombies” who have fixed meals, had sex or gotten in their cars and driven away with no memory of the activities the next day.
Attorney Susan Chana Lask, who has represented people in lawsuits against the manufacturer of Ambien, said the drug could explain some of Trump’s long history of erratic behavior, tweets and slurred speech.
“Ambien may be the reason he has at times been unable to recall names and events, and had to later correct himself,” Lask said.
* * *
So while Trump stood by the doctor yesterday, admittedly with a tilt towards suggesting that he step aside because "he doesn't need this," we suspect the doctor may do just that as the opposition PR smear campaign escalates.