The White House pushed back on reports that White House physician Ronny Jackson would not be returning to his role after a string of reports about his conduct led him to withdraw from consideration to head up the Department of Veterans Affairs.
On Sunday, Politico first reported that Jackson would remain within the medical unit of the White House, but he would not be serving as the president’s personal doctor going forward. The White House said Monday that it has no personnel changes to announce.
“Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson is currently on active duty, assigned to the White House as Deputy Assistant to the President,” said White House spokesperson Raj Shah. “Despite published reports, there are no personnel announcements at this time.”
Jackson’s selection took many by surprise given his lack of experience heading up a major organization—Veterans Affairs is the second-largest federal agency after the Pentagon.
But last week, the office of Montana Sen. John Tester, a Democrat, released a litany of allegations against Jackson, including claims that he was often drunk at work and overprescribed drugs.
Jackson denied the allegations, but withdrew from the nomination process. The Secret Service also came to Jackson’s defense, releasing a statement denying a report that officers had to intervene to stop Jackson from potentially disturbing President Obama while on an overseas trip.
Trump has defended Jackson and called for Tester, who is up for re-election, to resign.