VP Pence Doctor Resigns Months After Conflict with Trump Doctor

Johnny Isakson
The Associated Press
Washington, DC

The White House Medical Unit doctor assigned to Vice President Mike Pence has resigned, an event the Vice President’s office was notified of on Friday.

Pence’s office confirmed to CNN that on Friday they had been notified of Dr. Jennifer Pena’s resignation. Pena lodged complaints last fall against then-physician to President Donald Trump, Dr. Ronnie Jackson. Pena penned three memos on interactions with Jackson, accusing him of intimidating her and possibly violating privacy protection in regard to Pence’s wife Karen.

Pena’s complaints were the first documentation of possible misconduct by Jackson, according to CNN, which broke news of the complaints just days ago. Senator Jon Tester attacked Jackson’s credibility after Trump nominated the military doctor to head the Veterans Administration. Tester released a long list of unproven allegations against Jackson. Jackson has served as doctor to three Presidents and received praise for his performance, including from one of those he served, President Barack Obama.

One of Pena’s memos stated that she felt uncomfortable because of Jackson’s actions and considered resigning then. Her concerns were presented to Pence Chief of Staff Nick Ayers, who “referred the matter to the proper channels,” according to Pence’s office.

Jackson eventually withdrew his nomination under intense media scrutiny. The Secret Service later provided Trump with information that they had no record of incidents of which Tester accused Jackson Jackson called accusations against him, including drinking on the job, “completely false and fabricated,” upon the withdrawal of his nomination to lead the V.A. He lamented, “These false allegations have become a distraction for this President and the important issue we must be addressing – how we give the best care to our nation’s heroes.” Jackson did not return to serve as Trump’s doctor after the withdrawal.

One former White House medical official told CNN the two physicians have long had a “strained relationship.” Another White House official suggested that Pena misrepresented Jackson’s actions.

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