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Opinion: Sen. Tester played politics with Jackson’s nomination to lead VA

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EDITOR'S NOTE: Boris Epshteyn formerly served as a Senior Advisor to the Trump Campaign and served in the White House as Special Assistant to The President and Assistant Communications Director for Surrogate Operations.

WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - Because of dishonorable actions by Sen. John Tester (D-Mont.), our nation’s veterans are nowhere close to having a permanent leader.

President Donald Trump nominated a good man, Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, for the job of secretary of veterans affairs. Jackson is a veteran, a doctor and was the head physician to President Barack Obama and Trump.

Obama said this about Jackson: “Ronny’s positive impact cannot be overstated. He is a tremendous asset to the entire White House team."

Well, that wasn’t good enough for Tester.

Looking to play politics with the VA nomination, Tester publicly released unsubstantiated allegations against Jackson.

The most scandalous claims of Jackson drinking too much on official trips and overprescribing medications have been largely debunked by the Secret Service and the White House.

Tester stated, in part, that he wants for our veterans to have a "thoroughly vetted leader."

Concerns over Jackson's nomination should have been handled during the confirmation process, but after Tester released the unverified gossip, Jackson withdrew his nomination.

Here is the bottom line: Tester’s actions around Jackson’s nomination were disgusting. Actions have consequences. Tester was one of the safer Democrats in the Republican-leaning states going into the midterms. That is no longer the case. Trump won Montana by 20 points in 2016. He is now going all in to make sure that Tester is no longer representing Montana in the Senate.