Trump Seems to Urge Own VA Sec Nominee to Bow Out: ‘There’s an Experience Problem’
President Donald Trump gave an ominous, rambling statement on Tuesday when he was asked about the troubles surrounding his pick for VA secretary, Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson.
Jackson’s confirmation hearings have been put on hold until further notice due to allegations the Senate is reviewing over workplace misconduct.
Fox News’ John Roberts asked Trump about this during joint presser with France’s Emmanuel Macron, and the president weirdly signaled that Jackson’s nomination might not last much longer.
“I know there’s an experience problem, because lack of experience,” Trump said, referencing criticism that Jackson had no experience to run the agency. “But there’s an experience problem — the Veterans Administration is very important to me.”
After making those claims about his own nominee for VA secretary, Trump criticized the media for its coverage of Jackson.
He said that he told Jackson at one point: “What do you need this for? This is a vicious group of people that malign” — apparently referring to the media.
Trump then went on a tangent about Democratic obstructionism, before brining it back to Jackson, telling reporters that he spoke him and said he could bow out rather than go through the confirmation process.
“I said to Dr. Jackson, ‘What do you need it for?'” Trump recalled. “I don’t want to put a man through a process like this. It’s too ugly and too disgusting. So we’ll see what happens, he’ll make a decision.”
When asked to clarify, Trump said it’s up to Jackson whether he wants to pursue the VA job or not, but he continued to give him wiggle room to decline the nomination.
“If I were him, actually…I wouldn’t do it,” Trump said. “What does he need it for? To be abused by a bunch of politicians that aren’t thinking nicely about our country? I really don’t think personally he should do it, but it’s totally his decision.”
So…make of that what you will.
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