Ronny Jackson withdraws nomination as VA secretary

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 16: Physician to U.S. President Donald Trump Dr. Ronny Jackson speaks during the daily White House press briefing at the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House January 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. Dr. Jackson discussed the details of President Trump's physical check-up from last week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson has withdrawn as President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, he said in a statement Thursday morning.

His nomination was hampered by a flurry of allegations about Jackson’s professional conduct.

President Donald Trump said Thursday morning that he predicted Jackson’s nomination as the next secretary of Veterans Affairs was in serious trouble several days ago.

“I even told him a day or two ago I saw where this was going,” Trump told Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” over the phone, later adding that “it’s a disgrace.”

The President also said all the allegations against Jackson were false, saying the White House physician’s opponents are “trying to destroy a man.”

Jackson withdrew his nomination Thursday morning, minutes before Trump called into the show for an interview. Jackson’s nomination was hampered by a flurry of allegations about his professional conduct.

In a statement, Jackson called the allegations against him as “false” but said they had become a distraction for Trump and veterans’ interests.