Remember Ronny Jackson? Former White House doctor nicknamed the Candyman because of the way he allegedly doled out prescription drugs? Claimed that Donald Trump had “incredibly good genes” and that if he’d eaten a little healthier, he could have lived to be “200 years old”? Earned a nomination to run the Department of Veterans Affairs, which he later withdrew over accusations that he created a toxic work environment and was drunk on an overseas work trip? Now serves Texas’s 13th Congressional District, after claiming on the campaign trail that Barack Obama had spied on the 2016 Trump campaign and writing that “Every Deep State traitor deserves to be brought to justice for their heinous actions”? There’s a new Pentagon report out concerning his behavior, and it’s not a great look!
In a review of Jackson’s time as the top White House doctor, the Department of Defense’s inspector general concluded that he made “sexual and denigrating” comments about a female underling, violated the government’s policy concerning drinking on a presidential trip, and took prescription-strength sleeping drugs that caused concern from his coworkers about his ability to do his job. Per CNN:
Allegations about his explosive temper and creating a hostile work environment are consistent throughout his time in both the Obama and Trump administrations as an “overwhelming majority of witnesses (56)…who worked with RDML Jackson from 2012 through 2018 told us they personally experienced, saw, or heard about him yelling, screaming, cursing, or belittling subordinates,” the report says. “Many of these witnesses described RDML Jackson’s behavior with words and phrases such as ‘meltdowns,’ ‘yells for no reason,’ ‘rages,’ ‘tantrums,’ ‘lashes out,’ and ‘aggressive.’ These witnesses also described RDML Jackson’s leadership style with terms such as ‘tyrant,’ ‘dictator,’ ‘control freak,’ ‘hallmarks of fear and intimidation,’ ‘crappy manager,’ and ‘not a leader at all,’” it adds.
During an April 2014 presidential trip to Manila, a witness said Jackson started drinking in the hotel lobby shortly after arrival and then got in a car with a drink in his hand after declaring he was going “out on the town,” which is definitely the sort of behavior you want to see from the person charged with taking care of the president of the United States’ health. Another witness told investigators that he smelled alcohol on Jackson’s breath that evening and that back at the hotel, Jackson was seen “pounding” on the door of a female subordinate’s room. When she opened the door, he allegedly told her, “I need you,” and, “I need you to come to my room.” On a separate presidential trip to Asia that same month, witnesses said Jackson commented about a female medical subordinate’s breasts and butt, saying she had “great tits” and “what a nice ass,” adding that he wanted to “see more of her tattoos.”
Two years later, in Bariloche, Argentina, two witnesses told the I.G. they saw Jackson drinking a beer while he was serving as the physician to the president and in charge of providing medical care for a presidential trip, despite regulations prohibiting him from 24 hours before the president’s arrival until two hours after he left. Jackson, the witnesses said, dismissed the regulation as “ridiculous.” Another witness said Jackson later smelled of alcohol, though she was unsure if he was drunk…. These two allegations of alcohol use both occurred under the Obama administration, but the report details a series of incidents under both Obama and Trump in which Jackson lost his temper, cursing at subordinates.
At least six witnesses, all of whom were medical personnel, also told investigators that Jackson took Ambien, a prescription medicine used to treat insomnia, on long flights while on duty for providing medical care for government officials, including the president. The witnesses said they were concerned about the Ambien because it often leaves users drowsy and can impair someone’s mental alertness. But the I.G. report notes there is no specific restriction on the use of Ambien during long flights.