Trump: Democrat should quit over VA nomination brouhaha

By JILL COLVIN

and ZEKE MILLER

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A furious President Donald Trump on Saturday called for the resignation of the Democratic senator who assembled and released what he called “false” allegations that scuttled the nomination of the White House doctor who’d been in line to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Trump stepped up his criticism of Montana’s Jon Tester, the top Democrat on the Senate Veterans’ Committee, in two tweets days after asserting that Tester “has to have a big price to pay” politically in the GOP friendly state for his leading role in Ronny Jackson’s failed VA bid. Tester faces a competitive re-election race this year.

Tester, in a statement, didn’t directly respond to Trump but said he was committed to aiding veterans.

At issue are allegations that Tester has said were brought to his attention by more than 20 military and retired military personnel who’ve worked with Jackson. Tester said not investigating would have been “a dereliction of duty” and said making them public was important for the sake of transparency.

The charges against Jackson raised questions about his prescribing practices and leadership ability, including accusations of drunkenness on the job. Tester’s office collected the allegations, which included a claim that Jackson “got drunk and wrecked a government vehicle” at a Secret Service going-away party.

Trump tweeted early Saturday that the allegations “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.”

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