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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Tester Releases Summary Of Allegations Against Trump's VA Secretary Nominee

Montana Sen. Jon Tester
Senator Jon Tester

Senator Jon Tester this afternoon releaseda two-page summary of allegations against Admiral Ronny Jackson, the physician President Trump has nominated to be Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

They include accounts of drunkenness, over-prescribing drugs, and creating a hostile work environment.

Tester is the ranking minority member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. Yesterday he gave MTPR an update of the status of his office’s investigation into allegations against Jackson.

"We’ve verified plenty of them, but we haven’t verified them with enough people yet, that’s why we’re doing the ongoing review," Tester said. It is unclear how thoroughly vetted the document his office released today are. 

The list of allegations against Jackson that Tester released today says it’s based on, “conversations with 23 colleagues and former colleagues of Rear Admiral Jackson, most of whom are still in uniform."

A statement from Tester's office says, "Because these servicemembers are fearful of retribution, we have scrubbed specific identifying information as well as incidents that could implicate specific individuals. 

As these are allegations, the Ranking Member continues to believe that the Committee should continue to rigorously vet the nominee."

Tester's office says each allegation in the attached document has been levied by more than one source.

Eric Whitney is NPR's Mountain West/Great Plains Bureau Chief, and was the former news director for Montana Public Radio.
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