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Juliette Kayyem On Ronny Jackson

White House Doctor Ronny Jackson Faces More Scrutiny

Ronny Jackson
Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, President Donald Trump's choice to be secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, leaves a Senate office building after meeting individually with some members of the committee that would vet him for the post, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 24, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
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Juliette Kayyem On Ronny Jackson

Ronny Jackson, the White House doctor, continues to be plagued by accusations that he incorrectly dispensed medication and most recently, that he failed to maintain federal privacy protections for Vice President Mike Pence’s wife, Karen.

National security expert Juliette Kayyem joined BPR today to talk about the accusations against Jackson, which Kayyem called “egregious.”

“It’s ridiculous he’s still in the White House,” she said. “What’s amazing to me ... is the extent to which people willingly sell their moral compasses for professional advancement.”

Kayyem discussed Jackson’s press conference in January, during which he claimed Trump’s health was “excellent” despite the fact he has high cholesterol, claims to eat a diet comprised largely of fast food, doesn’t exercise and struggles with his weight.

She also suggested there was a double standard regarding claims about the health and stamina of Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton.

During the campaign, Trump’s personal doctor, Harold Bornstein, wrote a glowing letter about the then-candidate’s health. He told CNN this week that Trump had actually dictated the letter and that it was not written by Dr. Bornstein as originally stated.

“Here you have a [doctor] who got away with everything during the campaign,” she said. “Meanwhile, Hillary has pneumonia.”

Kayyem said Jackson represents another person working under Trump who “saw a pathway” into the White House and took it, even if it jeopardizes his reputation as a physician.

“Every [person] is more crazy than the next,” said Kayyem.

National Security Expert Juliette Kayyem is a professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School, CEO of ZEMCAR and a CNN contributor. To hear her interview in its entirety, click on the audio player above

WGBH News coverage is a resource provided by member-supported public radio. We can’t do it without you.
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