White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders calls on reporters. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders defended Ronny Jackson, President Trump's pick to head the Veterans Affairs Department, saying that he has an "impeccable" record and has been vetted numerous times for various posts under previous administrations, which unearthed "no areas of concerns."

"Dr. Jackson's record as a White House physician has been impeccable. In fact, because Dr. Jackson has worked within arm's reach of 3 presidents he has received more vetting than most nominees... A very thorough investigation and vetting process has taken place."
— Sanders told reporters

Sanders said the White House will “certainly look into” allegations that Jackson drank excessively on the job, referring to the reports as “outrageous.” She said he’s highly qualified and respected in the medical and military communities.

  • Sanders added he has “undergone four separate background checks,” however, she didn’t say whether the current administration vet Jackson beyond the regular background check.

When asked about the latest ruling on DACA that concluded protections must stay in place, Sanders said the order was "extraordinarily broad," and that its "good news for smuggling organizations and criminal networks and horrible news for our national security."

Sanders declined to say whether the White House will disavow the president’s call for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the U.S.," in reference to the latest travel ban the Supreme Court heard Wednesday.

Pressed about the U.S. recent drop in press freedom ranks, Sanders defended the White House's relationship with the press saying, "we certainly would reject the idea that the president, this administration, has halted freedom of the press. I think we're one of the most accessible administrations that we've seen in decades.”

Go deeper

Updated 52 mins ago - Science

Texas and Louisiana face fresh flood threat from Tropical Storm Beta

Tropical Storm Beta slowly approaching the Texas coast on Monday. Photo: National Weather Service/Twitter

Tropical Storm Beta was dumping heavy rains over Texas as it churned its way inland overnight, bringing the risk of "life-threatening storm surge" and flooding to parts of the state and Louisiana, the National Hurricane Center said.

What's happening: The slow-moving storm was causing coastal flooding along areas including the bays near Houston and Galveston in Texas Monday, per the National Weather Service. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) made a disaster declaration and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) declared a state of emergency Monday.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 31,328,238 — Total deaths: 964,839— Total recoveries: 21,503,496Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 6,857,967 — Total deaths: 199,884 — Total recoveries: 2,615,949 — Total tests: 95,841,281Map.
  3. Health: CDC says it mistakenly published guidance about COVID-19 spreading through air.
  4. Media: Conservative blogger who spread COVID-19 misinformation worked for Fauci's agency.
  5. Politics: House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11.
  6. World: U.K. upgrades COVID alert level as Europe sees worrying rise in infections — "The Wake-Up Call" warns the West about the consequences of mishandling a pandemic.

Louisville police declare state of emergency as Breonna Taylor decision looms

A demonstrator holds up a sign of Breonna Taylor during a protest in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

The Louisville police chief declared in a memo obtained by news outlets a "state of emergency" for the department on Monday to prepare for Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron's expected announcement on the Breonna Taylor case.

Of note: Louisville has witnessed more than 115 days of protests over the police killing of Taylor, an unarmed Black woman, with calls for all the officers involved to be charged.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!