Navy demoted Ronny Jackson after damning report on White House conduct

Navy demoted Ronny Jackson after damning report on White House conduct

Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas), a former White House physician, retired as a Navy rear admiral in 2019 but was demoted less than two years later, The Washington Post reported.

Following a damning March 2021 Defense Department Inspector General’s (DODIG) report, in which allegations of Jackson’s inappropriate behavior while at the White House were substantiated, the Navy chose to demote him from rear admiral to captain in July 2022, a current defense official and a former U.S. official told the Post.

Jackson, however, continues to refer to himself as a retired rear admiral, including on his congressional website.

“As a retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral with nearly three decades of military service I understand the commitment and sacrifices made by servicemen and servicewomen to serve our country,” the Jackson writes on a page detailing his work on veterans’ issues.

A Navy spokesperson confirmed to The Hill that the service had taken administrative action against Jackson following the report but did not comment on his current rank or whether he had been demoted.

“The substantiated allegations in the DODIG investigation of Rear Adm (lower half) Ronny Jackson are not in keeping with the standards the Navy requires of its leaders and, as such, the Secretary of the Navy took administrative action in July 2022,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

Jackson, who served as the White House’s top doctor under both former Presidents Trump and Obama, retired from the Navy to run for Congress in December 2019, a campaign that was backed by Trump.

Jackson’s office did not respond to a request for comment about the Navy’s decision to demote him.

The DODIG found that Jackson “made sexual and denigrating statements” about a female staff member, drank alcohol and took the sleeping pill Ambien while on the job, and overall contributed to a “negative work environment” while serving as White House physician.

At the time of the report’s release, Jackson vehemently denied its findings in a statement to The Hill.

“Three years ago I was the subject of a political hit job because I stood with President Trump. Today, a Department of Defense Inspector General report has resurrected those same false allegations from my years with the Obama Administration because I have refused to turn my back on President Trump,” Jackson told The Hill. “Democrats are using this report to repeat and rehash untrue attacks on my integrity, so I want to be clear.”

And in his July 2022 memoir, “Holding the Line,” Jackson again brushes off the DODIG report as politically motivated and does not address the prospect of being demoted by the Navy, according to the Post.

“If I had retired and not gotten into politics, this investigation would have never gone anywhere,” Jackson writes. “This was happening because I am a perceived threat to the Biden administration and because a few political appointees in the Department of Defense want to make a name for themselves.”

Jackson first began to work at the White House in 2006, served as the medical unit’s director between 2010 and 2014, and was personal physician to Obama and Trump between 2013 and 2018.

Since entering Congress, he has been a major critic of President Biden’s fitness for office and has publicly demanded he take a cognitive test to prove he is mentally fit to be commander in chief.

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