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President Donald Trump reacted to the withdrawal of Veterans Affairs secretary nominee Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson.

At a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Trump was asked about Jackson by a Christian Broadcasting Network reporter.

Trump called Jackson, the White House physician for three consecutive presidents, an "American hero" and "one of the finest men that I've met in the last long period of time."

He ripped the ranking Democrat on the Veterans Affairs committee, Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, for a barrage of criticisms against Jackson.

Trump blasted Tester for "nicknames" like the Candyman, a reference to allegations Jackson liberally handed out Ambien to staffers on planes.

"To say the kind of things that he said... most people never said [they] happened," Trump said.

Tester also accused Jackson of drinking on the job.

Trump said Tester hails from a "great state" which he added will "not put up with" such attacks from the two-term Democrat up for reelection this year.

"I've had it happen to me with the Russia collusion hoax," Trump said of what he considered baseless attacks and allegations.

Trump said Tester's attacks on Jackson exposed a "system" of "horrible things" that go on in Washington.

Tester will face one of several Republicans vying to face him in November, including former State Rep. Russell Fagg of Billings, businessman Troy Downing, State Sen. Al Olszewski of Kalispell and State Auditor Matt Rosendale.


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