Ronny Jackson’s retreat from his VA secretary nomination is appalling

President Trump continued his defense of White House physician and Navy Rear Adm. Ronny L Jackson on Saturday, two days after Dr. Jackson withdrew his name from consideration to become secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs – despite being eminently qualified for the Cabinet position.

And the president called on Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., who raised allegations against Jackson, to resign, writing in two tweets: “Allegations made by Senator Jon Tester against Admiral/Doctor Ron Jackson are proving false. The Secret Service is unable to confirm (in fact they deny) any of the phony Democrat charges which have absolutely devastated the wonderful Jackson family. Tester should resign.”

The president added that the “great people of Montana will not stand for this kind of slander when talking of a great human being. Admiral Jackson is the kind of man that those in Montana would most respect and admire, and now, for no reason whatsoever, his reputation has been shattered. Not fair, Tester!”

On the same day Jackson withdrew his name to become VA secretary, President Trump was meeting with a group of veterans in the White House. It was an ironic piece of Washington theater.

The veterans were brought together by the Wounded Warrior Project for Soldier Ride, an annual four-day cycling event designed to give veterans a positive physical experience.

As the president was standing with the veterans, reporters were outside the White House explaining how Jackson became the latest White House casualty due to a series of unsubstantiated allegations by anonymous people.

The day before, President Trump said Jackson would have his backing if he decided to fight for the nomination, but that the president didn’t think the battle would be worth the struggle.

This left Jackson, a doctor who President Obama had given high praise to in reviews, wondering what to do. Should he fight a list of allegations being peddled by Tester if he didn’t have the president’s vociferous support?

Tester, the top Democrat on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, had taken allegations public by saying on CNN that Jackson was known as “the candy man” to staffers in the White House and that Jackson would give drugs to passengers traveling with the president overseas to “put them to sleep and then give them the drugs to wake them back up again.”

Isn’t that easily explained, as it is common for someone flying across time zones to another continent to take an Ambien?

Also, accusations that Jackson denies hit the news claiming that he had been drunk on the job and that he even crashed a government car while under the influence. Jackson said he doesn’t even know where that one came from.

Clearly, Jackson’s biggest problem was that he worked in the Obama White House, as this gave former Obama staffers an air of authority when they allegedly told Tester and other Democrats inside gossip.

What’s more bothersome is that President Trump didn’t understand this was a fight he had to win. This came as the Trump White House has been repeatedly weakened by leaks and has lost a number of staffers. The Democrats don’t just smell blood – they are drawing blood.

The Trump administration did make a tepid fight of it, but did so while falling back on their heels.

“It’s quite unusual for a United States senator to take allegations that have not been fully investigated, but to flaunt them to the national public to suggest he’s the ‘candyman.’ I think is outrageous,” said White House Legislative Director Marc Short.

President Trump also called in to “Fox & Friends” to say that Tester “has a big price to pay” in Montana.

Maybe, but those counterpunches were thrown from an off-balance position when the Trump administration should have been on offense.

These kinds of ploys from Democrats are stall tactics to keep the Trump administration from pushing forward with the agenda that voters put Donald Trump in the White House to enact.

This isn’t just a trivial Washington melodrama. The Department of Veterans Affairs is in need of a hero to resurrect it from the throes of a corrupt bureaucracy. President Trump heard this firsthand when he met with the veterans organized by Wounded Warrior Project.

“I’m appalled,” said retired Army Sgt. 1st Class Gregory A. Stube, author of “Conquer Anything: A Green Beret’s Guide to Building Your A-Team.”

“I experienced the outstanding and the downright bad sides of our VA hospital system,” Stube said. “The system badly needs a good man to take it on for the good of our veterans.”