Ronny Jackson made sexual comments about subordinate, drank alcohol on trips as WH physician: IG

Former White House doctor denied allegations in Pentagon inspector general report

U.S. Rep. Ronny Jackson made "sexual and denigrating" comments about a female subordinate and engaged in inappropriate use of alcohol while on two presidential trips during his time as the White House physician, according to a Pentagon inspector general report.

Investigators interviewed 78 witnesses and reviewed White House documents to reach the conclusion that Jackson, R-Texas, failed to treat his subordinates on the White House Medical Unit staff with dignity and respect, the report said.

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Jackson "disparaged, belittled, bullied, and humiliated" subordinates, creating a negative work environment, according to the report.

It also said that Jackson, who served as White House physician to Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump, violated White House Military Office (WHMO) policy on drinking alcohol while on presidential trips to Manila, Philippines, in April 2014 and a trip to Bariloche, Argentina, in March 2016.

Ronnny Jackson served as White House physician under former Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Ronnny Jackson served as White House physician under former Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

In Manila, Jackson became intoxicated and engaged in behavior that witnesses described as screaming and yelling while in his hotel room, the report said. In Bariloche, Jackson drank a beer.

Jackson also used the sleep aid Ambien while on duty during long overseas flights, raising concerns from members of the White House Medical Unit staff, according to the report. However, investigators concluded that they were not aware of any WHMO prohibitions against the use of Ambien or whether Jackson had notified his supervisor in advance as policy requires.

Jackson, who achieved the rank of rear admiral in the Navy, issued a statement to Fox News following the report.

"Three years ago I was the subject of a political hit job because I stood with President Trump," Jackson said. "Today, a Department of Defense Inspector General report has resurrected those same false allegations from my years with the Obama Administration because I have refused to turn my back on President Trump."

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Jackson accused Democrats of using the report "to repeat and rehash untrue attacks on my integrity."

"I'm proud of the work environment I fostered under three different Presidents of both parties; 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 also denied any allegations that he was sexually inappropriate.

Jackson was elected to the U.S. Congress in November to represent Texas' District 13. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images, File)

Jackson was elected to the U.S. Congress in November to represent Texas' District 13. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images, File)

"I have not and will not ever conduct myself in a way that undermines the sincerity with which I take my oath to my country or my constituents," Jackson said in the statement.

During his time as White House physician under Obama, Jackson received glowing praise for his work from the then-president.

"Ronny’s positive impact cannot be overstated. He is a tremendous asset to the entire White House team," said an undated performance review that was signed by Obama obtained by Fox News in April 2018. "Already at a level of performance and responsibility that far exceeds is current rank, promote to Rear Admiral now."

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The inspector general report also found that several allegations made against Jackson had no evidence to support them, including a claim that Jackson "got drunk and wrecked a government vehicle."

The other allegations that investigators determined had no supporting evidence were that Jackson expected rum or other alcohol to be stocked in his lodging room while on official travel, and that staff feared retribution if they did not comply.

Allegations of misconduct first arose after Trump nominated Jackson to be Veteran's Affairs secretary in April 2018.

The doctor withdrew from the running after the Pentagon inspector general began investigating allegations of workplace misconduct, such as alcohol abuse and mishandling prescription drugs. Jackson called the charges "false and fabricated" at the time.

Jackson succeeded retiring U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry in November after beating Democratic opponent Gus Trujillo to represent Texas' District 13 in the House of Representatives.