Ronny Jackson, Trump's former physician, appointed chief medical adviser

By Grace Segers

/ CBS News

VA Secretary nominee withdraws name

President Trump has appointed Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson, the president's former physician who withdrew his nomination as secretary of Veterans Affairs amid controversy, to serve as assistant to the president and chief medical adviser. There is still an active Pentagon investigation into the allegations that torpedoed his nomination for the VA post.

Jackson was nominated by Mr. Trump to be VA secretary last March, and withdrew from his position as the president's physician. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., the ranking member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, released a two-page memo summarizing accusations of workplace misbehavior by Jackson. The allegations included drinking on the job, improperly dispensing medication and creating a hostile work environment.

Jackson withdrew his nomination in late April, although he denied all allegations against him. Mr. Trump has regularly expressed his admiration for Jackson since his withdrawal, and campaigned heavily against Tester in the 2018 election. Tester was re-elected.

Mr. Trump's appointment reinstalls Jackson as his physician. The White House also resubmitted Jackson's name for a promotion for a second star on Friday, Task and Purpose first reported.

Jackson is most famous for declaring a clean bill of health for Mr. Trump in January 2018. Jackson declared that all clinical data indicates Mr. Trump is "absolutely" fit for duty based on his assessment and that he will likely remain so for the duration of his presidency. Jackson also predicted the president would be physically fit enough to serve another term in office, should he choose to run for re-election.

Jackson reported that Mr. Trump is in normal, healthy condition and even said that his health is "excellent" compared to other 71-year-old American men. However, at a height of six feet and three inches and weighing 239 pounds, he is borderline obese.

First published on February 2, 2019

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Grace Segers

Grace Segers is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.

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