Trump's pick to head Indian Health Service drops out amid controversy over resume and finances

  • Robert Weaver, the Trump administration's nominee to run the Indian Health Service, is no longer being considered for the post.
  • Weaver reportedly withdrew his name from consideration after The Wall Street Journal published two stories raising questions about his resume and personal finances.
  • A former boss of Weaver's had told the Journal he would not recommend Weaver for another job unless he was closely supervised.
President Donald Trump
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President Donald Trump

Robert Weaver, the man picked by President Donald Trump to head the troubled Indian Health Service only to run into questions about the accuracy of his resume, is no longer the nominee for that post, a federal official confirmed to CNBC.

Weaver's withdrawal from consideration was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, which had broken multiple stories questioning Weaver's work experience claims and job performance.

The Journal said the acting head of the Indian Health Service told tribal leaders Wednesday that Weaver, a 39-year-old member of the Quapaw tribe of Oklahoma, was dropping out.

"Mr. Weaver is no longer the Administration's nominee for Director of the Indian Health Service," a spokeswoman for the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, the parent agency of the Indian Health Service, told CNBC in an emailed statement.

HHS previously had called questions about Weaver's qualifications "pure character assassination."

A week ago, the Journal had published a story detailing Weaver's track record of financial problems, which included filing for bankruptcy and failing to pay federal taxes on a business he ran.

That story also had quoted a former boss of Weaver's, who said he would not recommend him for another job unless he was closely supervised. He said Weaver had fallen far behind his responsibilities of billing insurers and collecting payments when he worked for that boss in the mid-2000s.

An earlier Journal story suggested Weaver had "misrepresented his work experience at a Missouri hospital to a Senate committee."

Several former executives at St. John's Regional Medical Center in Joplin, Missouri, told the newspaper they had never heard of Weaver, despite his having told the Senate Indian Affairs Committee he had worked there in "supervisory and management positions" at a time when those executives also worked there.

The Indian Health Service has a $6 billion budget and operates more than two dozen hospitals. IHS provides health care to more than 2 million Native Americans, who have a right to such services from the United States as a result of treaty obligations with Indian tribes.

A 2016 report by HHS found that Indian Health Service employees said they were "struggling to meet patients' basic needs" at the agency's hospitals and that some patients were dying as a result.