Trump on VA Nominee Ronny Jackson: 'If I Were Him, I Wouldn't Do It'

President Donald Trump offered only tepid support to Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson on Tuesday, saying the decision to continue with the nomination process for a Veterans Affairs secretary was up to Jackson himself.

Trump nominated Jackson, the White House physician, to lead the VA last month. A congressional committee postponed Jackson's confirmation hearings on Tuesday after whistleblowers alleged that Jackson oversaw a hostile work environment at the White House Medical Unit, improperly dispensed medication and drank on the job. Trump responded to the news at a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday afternoon.

"It's totally his decision," Trump said in response to a question about whether Jackson's name would be removed from consideration for the top VA job. But he also seemed to imply Jackson's best option would be to step aside for another nominee.

"If I were him, I wouldn't do it," Trump said of the confirmation process. He also called the VA nomination process "too ugly and disgusting" for Jackson. If that's true, it would be a historical first. No Senate-confirmed VA nominee in the past 30 years received a single vote of opposition in the Senate, Army Times reported earlier this month.

Jackson, who was first selected to serve as a White House physician under George W. Bush and also served as President Barack Obama's physician, has denied the allegations.

"I'm looking forward to the hearing. I was looking forward to doing it tomorrow, so I'm looking forward to getting it rescheduled and answering all the questions," Jackson told reporters Tuesday.

Trump chose Jackson to succeed Obama administration holdover David Shulkin at the VA. Shulkin left the VA after a report found "serious derelictions" related to the misallocation of taxpayer-funded resources during a 10-day European trip. Shulkin said he was forced out for opposing efforts to privatize the VA.

Critics immediately questioned Jackson's qualifications once he was nominated. Despite attaining the rank of rear admiral, Jackson has had no experience managing a large bureaucracy. On Tuesday, Trump admitted there was an "experience problem" with Jackson's nomination but called him "one of the finest people that I have met."

"I told Admiral Jackson a little while ago, I said, 'What do you need this for?'" Trump said. "This is a vicious group of people."​