White House doctor Ronny Jackson withdrew his name from consideration to run the Department of Veterans Affairs last week after Senate Democrats put him through what appears to be a normal vetting process to be a Cabinet secretary. Now, Politico reports, he’s not coming back to his old job.
He will be replaced by Sean Conley, a Navy officer who filled in over for Jackson last month after he was nominated.
Jackson shot to stardom in Trumpland when he went before the press in January and very calmly told them that he had “no reason whatsoever to think that the president has any issues whatsoever with his thought process.” That right there should have been a pretty major red flag.
Somehow, Trump’s policy of only hiring people who love him isn’t working out so well. In addition to the Jackson fiasco, the Washington Post reported on Sunday night that Justice Department aide and former Trump critic Sarah Isgur Flores was forced to kiss Trump’s figurative ring in order for Jeff Sessions to be able to bring her on board, and that “hundreds” of possible national security officials weren’t even considered for posts in the administration because they had been critical of the president during the campaign.
As one anonymous Republican strategist put it: “The Trump White House vetting machine is an oxymoron. There’s only one answer — Trump decides who he wants and tells people. That’s the vetting process.”
Meanwhile, Trump is still extremely pissed that personal loyalty to him doesn’t make someone qualified to run a huge federal agency. So he lashed out at Jon Tester, the top Democrat on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs committee, on Twitter yesterday:
Welcome to the job, Sean Conley!