Sen. Tester gives first TV interview since Trump called on him resign

Posted at 8:29 AM, May 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-04 10:29:24-04

BIG SANDY – U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) is back on his Big Sandy farm, while the Veterans Administration is still without a permanent secretary.

In an exclusive television interview, MTN spoke with Sen. Tester on Thursday about the unexpected national headlines he has recently made. 

Trump called on Tester to resign after Tester led the charge against Ronny Jackson, the President’s failed pick to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs. Jackson withdrew his nomination last week after Tester’s office made public some allegations about Jackson’s professional conduct.

Over the weekend, at a campaign rally in Michigan, President Trump claimed that he has information about Sen. Tester that, if released, would end Tester’s career.

“The bottom line is the President is going to do what the President does I’m going to continue to do what I do,” said Tester.  “And when it comes to working for veterans, I won’t take a back seat to anybody.”

Sen. Tester says he has no regrets about bringing the allegations to light on national television and he knows the dust is far from settled on the issue.

“Some people will say ‘Are you concerned about the election?” said Sen. Tester.  “We knew it was going to be a tough election and this is always going to happen, regardless.”

Jackson ultimately withdrew his nomination and Tester took the President’s social media criticism in stride, including damaging information the President claims to have on the Senator.

“I got no secrets, truthfully,” said Sen. Tester.  “I think just moving forward what can tend to happen is you take your eye off what needs to be done and what really needs to be done is we need to get a secretary for the V.A.”

MTN asked the White House whether President Trump has plans to come to Montana, to campaign against Sen. Tester, but got no response. When MTN asked about the President’s comment that he “knows things about Sen. Tester” that are damaging, we also got no response.

President Trump won Montana by 20 points in the 1026 election and Sen. Tester’s position in the U.S. Senate is one of five Democratic-held seats in states that Trump won by double digits.

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