Navy demoted Ronny Jackson after probe into White House behavior

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Trump's ex-doctor demoted by Navy for inappropriate behavior in White House

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EXPOSED: Former White House physician and current GOP congressman Ronny Jackson faces intense scrutiny as revelations of his demotion from the U.S. Navy surface. Allegations of misconduct have rocked Jackson's reputation, sparking debates over his retired rank and continued use of his former title. Dive into the unfolding controversy surrounding Jackson's turbulent career and the implications for his political future.

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Ronny Jackson, once the White House physician and now a GOP congressman, proudly highlights his military background.

“On my congressional website, I emphasize my nearly three decades of military service as a retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral,” Jackson states, acknowledging the sacrifices made by servicemen and women. However, recent developments reveal a significant change in Jackson’s status.

In July 2022, the Navy demoted Jackson following a damning Pentagon inspector general’s report confirming allegations of misconduct during his tenure as White House physician. Previously undisclosed, this decision was validated by a current defense official and a former U.S. official who spoke anonymously due to the sensitivity of the matter.

Jackson now holds the retired rank of Navy captain, a demotion carrying both financial implications and social stigma within military circles. Despite this, Jackson continues to identify himself as a retired rear admiral in public statements, even after the Navy reclassified him as a retired captain. Notably, former president Donald Trump and other Republicans also refer to Jackson by his former rank, raising questions about their awareness of his demotion.

Jackson’s office remained silent regarding inquiries about the Navy’s 2022 personnel action and his subsequent demotion. Despite this, the former White House physician has emerged as a significant figure in the 2024 campaign, repeatedly endorsing Trump’s fitness for office while criticizing President Biden’s capabilities.

Following the publication of this story, the Navy disclosed Jackson’s service record, revealing that his rank of captain was retroactively applied to his retirement date in December 2019. This adjustment carries substantial financial implications, with estimates suggesting a difference of over $15,000 annually in pension payouts compared to his previous rank of one-star admiral.

Katherine L. Kuzminski, a military policy expert at the Center for a New American Security, deemed Jackson’s self-description as a retired rear admiral inappropriate. She emphasized that while others might erroneously refer to him as ‘Admiral’ indefinitely, Jackson should avoid perpetuating the mistake.

Confirming the Navy’s response to the 2021 inspector general’s report, a Navy official revealed that unspecified action was taken against Jackson. The report highlighted instances of Jackson berating subordinates, making derogatory remarks about a female subordinate, consuming alcohol inappropriately with staff, and using the sleep drug Ambien while on duty as the president’s physician. At the time, Jackson held the rank of rear admiral (lower half), distinct from the two-star rear admiral position.

Lt. Cmdr. Joe Keiley, a spokesperson for the Navy, communicated via email that the Department of Defense inspector general’s investigation into Rear Adm. (lower half) Ronny Jackson substantiated allegations not aligned with Navy leadership standards. Consequently, the Secretary of the Navy took administrative action in July 2022. However, Keiley declined to comment on Jackson’s current rank or whether he had been demoted.

The Pentagon inspector general’s report had recommended action by the Navy secretary against Jackson, citing his failure to meet the “exemplary” conduct expected of Navy officers.

Military protocols allow for a provisional retirement rank if an officer faces allegations of misconduct at the time of departure, as Jackson did. Officials retain the option to adjust the final rank based on investigation outcomes, potentially reducing it to the last satisfactory grade served.

According to Navy regulations, retired officers can contest decisions, although it remains uncertain whether Jackson pursued such action against the Navy secretary’s determination.

In his July 2022 memoir, “Holding the Line,” Jackson dismissed the inspector general’s report as politically motivated. He asserted that the investigation targeted him due to his perceived threat to the Biden administration and the ambitions of certain political appointees within the Department of Defense.

In his memoir, Jackson remained silent on the possibility of his demotion by the Navy. Oversight of the White House medical team falls under the purview of the Pentagon, which has launched multiple investigations following Jackson’s tenure. In January, the Defense Department released a second inspector general report scrutinizing the unit’s operations during his tenure. While Jackson isn’t named in the report, it criticizes certain aspects of the unit’s management, such as lax controls over potent drugs like Ambien and Provigil.

Jackson’s tenure at the White House dates back to 2006, where he served as the medical unit’s director from 2010 to 2014. Additionally, he acted as the personal physician to Presidents Barack Obama and Trump from 2013 to 2018. His approach to providing round-the-clock care, even to officials’ friends and family members, gained him favor across two administrations.

Obama, who selected Jackson as his physician in 2013, considered him a friend and promoted him to one-star admiral in October 2016. Jackson’s rapport with Trump deepened, particularly after a January 2018 press conference where he praised Trump’s health, jokingly suggesting the president could live to 200 years if he improved his diet. Jackson’s attempt to become the secretary of veterans affairs under Trump was met with a whistleblower complaint to Congress, prompting investigations by the Pentagon’s inspector general. Despite Trump’s attempts to promote Jackson to a two-star admiral, the nominations were stalled, and he wasn’t promoted.

In 2019, Jackson retired from the military and departed the White House to embark on a congressional bid, initially seen as a long shot but ultimately successful with the support of Trump.

Securing reelection in 2022, Jackson has emerged as a prominent critic of President Biden’s suitability for office. He has actively engaged in this year’s presidential campaign, making frequent TV appearances, holding news conferences, and issuing public statements assessing Biden’s mental and physical well-being. Jackson has openly called for Biden to undergo a cognitive exam akin to the one administered to Trump in January 2018, echoing concerns shared by numerous independent voters and some Democrats.

A recent Monmouth University poll revealed that only 32 percent of registered voters expressed confidence in Biden’s physical and mental stamina, while 51 percent held similar confidence in Trump, who was 77 years old at the time.

Within Capitol Hill and political circles, Jackson is commonly referred to by his former military rank. At a House Republican news conference in July 2023, Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), a retired Pennsylvania Army National Guard brigadier general, beckoned Jackson by his previous title.

Trump, speaking at the August 2022 Conservative Political Action Conference shortly after Jackson’s private demotion by the Navy, praised his former physician’s achievements. Trump humorously lauded Jackson’s multiple roles as admiral, doctor, and congressman, highlighting their shared affinity and Jackson’s affirmation of Trump’s robust health.



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