Ronny Jackson, the White House’s former top physician who is now a member of Congress, made inappropriate sexual comments, “bullied” subordinates and got drunk on several presidential trips, the Pentagon’s inspector general determined in an investigation published Wednesday.
Jackson, who was a Navy rear admiral at the time of his White House duty, is portrayed as alarming colleagues in the White House Medical Office with his behavior while in charge of the health of both Presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama.
Jackson in 2018 stirred public controversy while caring for Trump amid charges he provided overly glowing reports on the president’s health. And his alleged behavior also later sank his nomination to be Trump’s secretary of Veterans of Affairs.
On Wednesday, the freshman congressman from Texas insisted in a statement that the IG report, which was first reported by CNN, was the result “of a political hit job because I stood with President Trump.”
“I take my professional responsibility with respect to prescription drug practices seriously; and I flat out reject any allegation that I consumed alcohol while on duty,” Jackson added. “I also categorically deny any implication that I was in any way sexually inappropriate at work, outside of work, or anywhere with any member of my staff or anyone else. That is not me and what is alleged did not happen.”
The IG’s most scathing findings relate to allegations of unprofessional behavior, including making sexually inappropriate comments about co-workers, according to the 37-page public report.
During a presidential trip to the Philippines, for example, “Jackson made sexual and denigrating statements about one of his female medical subordinates to another of his subordinates. Specifically, he said that his female subordinate had ‘great t**s’ and ‘a nice a**’ and he would ‘like to see more of her tattoos,'” the report alleges.
On the same trip, the report says he also failed his duties as the White House physician and a Navy officer by getting drunk and acting inappropriately.
“His intoxicated behavior in the middle of the night, pounding on her hotel room door, screaming, yelling, and overall loud behavior in his hotel room exhibited less than exemplary workplace conduct while on official travel to provide medical care for the President and other members of the traveling party,” the IG found.
The probe concluded that Jackson violated the policy of the White House Medical Office “by drinking a beer while on a presidential trip to Bariloche, Argentina” and that he “took Ambien during official travel, raising concerns about his potential incapacity to provide proper medical care during this travel.”
But the investigation concluded that other claims about Jackson’s behavior could not be corroborated.
“We found no evidence to support the allegation that RDML Jackson expected rum or other alcohol to be stocked in his lodging room while on official travel, or that staff members feared retribution if they did not comply with the expectation,” it says. It also found “no evidence to support the allegation that RDML Jackson ‘got drunk and wrecked a government vehicle.'”
The IG made no specific recommendations, leaving it up to the secretary of the Navy to “take appropriate action.” And it is unclear whether his behavior while in uniform will lead to any punitive actions by the House of Representatives, where Jackson sits on the Armed Services Committee.
In his statement, Jackson claimed his detractors have “resurrected those same false allegations from my years with the Obama Administration because I have refused to turn my back on President Trump.”