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MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Totally Misrepresents Inspector General Report Discussing Ronny Jackson


Allegations against VA Secretary nominee Ronny Jackson have been pouring in, ranging from unprofessional behavior, to being drunk on the job, to improperly giving out medicine. When asked by a reporter if there had been an Inspector General report about these allegations, Jackson said, “No there was not.”

Enter MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, who played a clip of the conversation, then saying, “Turns out there was an IG report about the allegations.”

Well, turns out Rachel Maddow was wrong.

The Inspector General report to which Maddow was referring was regarding the command climate of the White House Medical Unit. The 2012 report, viewed by the Associated Press, did not address allegations against Jackson related to drugs or alcohol. What it did address was the state of the unit’s leadership, which included Jackson, who was the one who ordered the report in the first place, according to the AP.

U.S. Naval College Professor Tom Nichols explained on Twitter that such a report is not the same as an investigation of a specific person, which is how Maddow made the report appear.

Maddow cited quotes from the report that disparaged the unit’s leadership, then said, “The leader in this case who’s being reviewed, alongside this other officer who he apparently could not get along with, I mean this is Ronny Jackson.”

Yes, the IG report did place some blame for the 2012 state of affairs. What Maddow failed to mention is that “this other officer” was Dr. Jeffrey Kuhlman, former physician to President Barack Obama.

Maddow said that the conclusion of the report “was that the White House should consider removing him from this job.” This is also inaccurate. What the report said was that they should consider replacing Jackson, Kuhlman, or both. What Maddow also failed to note is that the IG report placed most of the blame for the unit’s leadership troubles on Kuhlman, whose job then went to Jackson.

Nichols summed it up best at the end of his Twitter rant on the subject.

[Image via MSNBC screengrab]

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