×

Government watchdog investigating 'allegations related to' former White House physician Ronny Jackson

  • The Defense Department's Office of the Inspector General "has initiated an investigation into allegations related to Rear Admiral (Lower Half) Ronny L. Jackson."
  • Jackson's nomination to lead the VA was torpedoed by allegations of professional misconduct. Some of those allegations have been disputed by the White House and the Secret Service.
  • Jackson was appointed as the White House's personal physician to President Barack Obama in 2013 and continued to serve under President Trump.
White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson speaks to reporters at the White House in Washington, DC on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018.
The Washington Post | Getty Images
White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson speaks to reporters at the White House in Washington, DC on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018.

Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson's bid to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs was derailed by damning allegations of workplace misconduct. Those allegations are now under investigation by a government watchdog group.

The Defense Department's Office of the Inspector General "has initiated an investigation into allegations related to Rear Admiral (Lower Half) Ronny L. Jackson," said Bruce Anderson, a spokesman for the office, in a statement to CNBC on Monday.

Anderson told CNN, which first reported the inspector general's probe, that the investigation was initiated last month. Anderson did not immediately respond to CNBC's additional questions about the investigation.

Jackson was appointed as the White House's personal physician to President Barack Obama in 2013. He continued to serve under President Donald Trump, who nominated him in March to run the Veterans Affairs Department — the federal government's second-largest agency — succeeding David Shulkin.

Jackson's nomination process was quickly threatened by news reports quoting sources saying that he drank to excess on the job, handed out prescription pills without proper discretion and created a hostile work environment.

Many of the allegations came from Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., ranking member on the Senate's Committee on Veterans' Affairs, who cited reports from about 20 people that had raised concerns about Jackson.

A spokeswoman for Sen. Tester's office did not immediately provide a comment to CNBC. The White House did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.

The Secret Service appeared to dispute at least one of the allegations, reporting in April that it had no record of an incident involving Jackson drunkenly banging on a door on an overseas trip. The White House disputed another allegation, saying there was no evidence that Jackson "wrecked" a vehicle while intoxicated.

After Jackson withdrew his nomination, Trump called on Tester to resign.

Jackson is reportedly still working at the White House, though not as Trump's doctor.