- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Rep. Ronny Jackson bullied and humiliated staff members, broke rules around the use of alcohol and took Ambien during overseas flights, the Pentagon’s inspector general said in a scathing report Wednesday that examined complaints against the Texas Republican from his time as a White House doctor.

Mr. Jackson, a retired Navy rear admiral who was elected to Congress last November, previously served as former President Donald Trump’s physician and director of the White House Medical Unit (WHMU). He dismissed the inspector general’s report and said it is full of “false allegations” aimed at punishing him for his association with Mr. Trump.

But the 37-page watchdog report cited numerous unnamed witnesses who worked with Mr. Jackson and described him as a “toxic leader,” a “crappy manager,” a “dictator,” and prone to “having meltdowns and tantrums.”

“We concluded that [Rear Admiral] Jackson’s overall course of conduct toward subordinates disparaged, belittled, bullied, and humiliated them, and fostered a negative work environment by failing to treat subordinates with dignity and respect,” the inspector general’s report reads in part. “We also concluded that [Rear Admiral] Jackson failed to conduct himself in an exemplary manner in his treatment of subordinates throughout his tenure at WHMU. His treatment of subordinates created a negative work environment that witnesses said made an unfavorable impact on the overall command climate.”

The review also found that Mr. Jackson “made sexual and denigrating statements” about a female subordinate. 

In a statement to The Washington Times, Mr. Jackson pushed back against the report and denied the allegations made against him.

“I’m proud of the work environment I fostered under three different presidents of both parties; I take my professional responsibility with respect to prescription drug practices seriously; and I flat out reject any allegation that I consumed alcohol while on duty,” he said. “I also categorically deny any implication that I was in any way sexually inappropriate at work, outside of work, or anywhere with any member of my staff or anyone else. That is not me and what is alleged did not happen.”

The review details numerous incidents that witnesses say underscore the unprofessional climate Mr. Jackson created. One such instance, the report says, saw Mr. Jackson curse at subordinates for “failing to purchase a specific type of bug spray,” and another in which he cursed at a subordinate in front of family members who had been invited to a White House event.

The report also said that Mr. Jackson “engaged in inappropriate conduct involving the use of alcohol” during presidential trips to Manila in 2014 and Argentina in 2016.

The inspector general said that Mr. Jackson used Ambien during long overseas flights, though there is no specific policy against taking the drug, which is typically used to treat insomnia.

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