Ed O'Keefe and Nancy Cordes at CBS:
The ranking Democrat on the Senate Veterans Affairs committee is reviewing allegations he's hearing about Ronny Jackson, the White House physician and President Trump's pick to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs. It was unclear late Monday whether the Senate panel would postpone Jackson's confirmation hearing, which was scheduled for Wednesday, in light of stories about the nominee told by current or former White House medical staff.Although Jackson has the rank of rear admiral, he has had very little command responsibility. And he has no firsthand experience with the VA. He is on active duty with the military, which has a completely separate system of medical and other services. Nicholas Fandos at NYT:
Sources familiar with the tales say Sen. Jon Tester's committee staff is reviewing multiple allegations of a "hostile work environment." The accusations include "excessive drinking on the job, improperly dispensing meds," said one of the people familiar, who was granted anonymity to speak frankly about the situation. The other people familiar with the stories also confirmed those details.
If proven true, "it'll sink his nomination," said one of the sources.
The White House did little or no vetting of his background before announcing his nomination on Twitter. Before serving as a White House physician, Dr. Jackson had deployed as an emergency medicine physician to Taqaddum, Iraq, during the Iraq war.Chris Cillizza at CNN:
The Senate only received paperwork from the Trump administration formalizing Dr. Jackson’s nomination last week.
Less than 48 hours after The New York Times published a lengthy front-page piece detailing Scott Pruitt's long pattern of ethically dicey moves prior to being named EPA chief, the White House's defenses of him are clearly softening.
Asked about the series of recent negative headlines on Pruitt, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders responded Monday: "We're continuing to review a number of the reports that you've mentioned, and we'll let you know if we have any changes on that front."
Pressed later in the daily briefing on Pruitt, Sanders remained guarded.
"We're reviewing some of those allegations," she said again. "However, Administrator Pruitt has done a good job of implementing the president's policies, particularly on deregulation, making the United States less energy-dependent and becoming more energy-independent. Those are good things. However, the other things certainly are something that we're monitoring and looking at, and I'll keep you posted."