Sen. Rand Paul on Wednesday gave embattled Veterans' Affairs nominee Ronny Jackson the benefit of the doubt, cautioning "before we trash his character, someone ought to give the gentleman a chance to defend himself."
"These are arguments we have a lot of times in politics whether a governor makes a better president or a senator makes a better president because of executive experience," the Kentucky senator told Wolf Blitzer on CNN.
Blitzer asked whether Jackson, 50, the Navy rear admiral who is the White House physician, had enough experience to manage the sprawling Department of Veterans Affairs.
Jackson's confirmation hearing before the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee was postponed indefinitely amid growing allegations about unprofessional conduct, drunkenness, and dispensing prescription medication.
"I don't know there is an easy black-and-white answer that someone is always better because the policies make a difference as well," Paul told Blitzer.
"I do think we ought to be careful in Dr. Jackson's case not to immediately assume that everything that is alleged is true.
"We're talking about a man's character — and these are very significant allegations," he said.
"I would just caution that this is a man's life we're talking about who is an admiral and served honorably for many years.
"Before we trash his character," Paul cautioned, "someone ought to give the gentleman a chance to defend himself."
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