White House physician Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, the guy who claimed Donald Trump weighs 239 pounds and has “great genes,” and who withdrew his name as a candidate to run the Department of Veterans Affairs due to several scandals, has been newly promoted by the Trump White House.
According to CNN, Jackson will serve as Trump’s chief medical adviser and as an assistant to the president. Additionally, the White House has resubmitted a request to the Senate Armed Services Committee for Jackson to be promoted to a two-star admiral.
Both of these moves come as Jackson continues to be investigated by the Defense Department’s inspector general over allegations that he excessively drank on the job while head of the White House medical office and recklessly doled out prescription drugs.
According to a New York Times report last year, Jackson allegedly “provided such ‘a large supply’ of Percocet, a prescription opioid, to a White House Military Office staff member that he threw his own medical staff ‘into a panic’ when it could not account for the missing drugs.”
He also allegedly wrote himself prescriptions and wrecked a government vehicle while intoxicated. All of this was enough to force him to withdraw from the process to head the VA, a job that would have required him to manage a federal bureaucracy with some 400,000 employees.
Jackson called the allegations against him “completely false and fabricated.”
Citing an anonymous White House official, The Washington Post reported that Trump “still likes Jackson” and thinks the doctor “was treated unfairly.”
Of course Trump still likes Jackson. Following Trump’s first physical as president last year, many suspected he fudged Trump’s height and weight to make the president appear less obese. He also praised the president for having passed a generic cognitive test that asked him to identify simple wildlife animals, among other things.
Later, an anonymous White House official told CNN that “Trump liked the way Jackson handled himself with reporters,” so he nominated the doctor to be VA secretary.
Trump’s next annual physical is scheduled for Friday at Walter Reed. This time, he will be examined by Dr. Sean Conley, the president’s new doctor.
According to reports, the Senate will not decide whether or not to grant Jackson’s promotion in rank until the Pentagon concludes its ongoing investigation.