MISSOULA – President Donald Trump spoke to supporters on Thursday at Metra Park in Billings during a stop to support Republican US Senate candidate Matt Rosendale is his effort to replace incumbent US Senator Jon Tester (D-MT).
President Trump’s criticism of Sen Tester stems from the president’s proposed appointment of Navy Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson to head up the US Department of Veteran’s Affairs this spring.
President Trump wanted his one-time personal white house physician to fill the seat, but Sen. Tester and other lawmakers on the Senate Veteran’s Affairs committee fought the nomination after allegations arose about Jackson writing inappropriate prescriptions and bullying office staff.
“One of the saddest things I’ve seen is when Jon Tester and what he did to a great, great man — Admiral Jackson. Admiral Jackson was subjected to horrible lies and smears. He’s an admiral, he’s actually the doctor that gave me my physical. He said that I’m in great shape,” President Trump said.
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President Trump brought this up multiple times during his speech, even though his showdown with Sen. Tester was months ago.
The Defense Department Office of Inspector General confirmed in June that they had initiated a probe into Ronny Jackson. It’s an investigative group that looks into possible wrongdoing at the Pentagon.
Sen. Jon Tester reacted to President Trump’s by saying it’s always a positive when a sitting President makes the trip to Montana, and isn’t concerned about what the President might say about him on this second trip to the Treasure State this summer.
Sen. Tester’s campaign manager Christie Roberts released the following statement following the rally:
“Thank you to President Trump for once again praising the work Jon Tester has done reducing regulations, fighting for veterans, and working to hold the VA accountable. We urge the President to sign Jon’s 19th bill that currently sits on his desk. While Jon keeps fighting for Montana, Matt Rosendale continues to look out for himself rather than stand up for Montana.”
-Augusta McDonnell reporting for MTN News