Advertisement
Politics

Pence’s doctor resigns amid ongoing furor over White House Medical Unit

Mike Pence, Karen Pence
The lead doctor for Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence has resigned. Jennifer Peña clashed repeatedly with the president’s former physician, Ronny Jackson, a senior White House official said.
(Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)

A White House doctor who raised concerns about Ronny Jackson, the president’s former physician and scuttled nominee to run the Department of Veterans Affairs, has resigned.

Jennifer Peña, the vice president’s lead doctor, left her position on Friday, according to a White House spokeswoman.

“The vice president’s office was informed today by the White House Medical Unit of the resignation,” Alyssa Farah, the vice president’s spokeswoman, said in a statement. “Physicians assigned to the vice president report to the White House Medical Unit and thus any resignation would go entirely through the medical unit, not the vice president’s office.”

Peña did not respond to requests for comment.

Advertisement

According to a senior White House official, Peña clashed repeatedly with Jackson, whose nomination to run the VA was abandoned amid allegations of liberally prescribing drugs, drinking on the job and creating a hostile workforce.

CNN reported Tuesday that the vice president’s doctor had raised concerns inside the White House that Jackson may have violated patient privacy protections for Mike Pence’s wife and sought to intimidate the doctor during confrontations over the episode. CNN did not name the doctor in the report, saying anonymity was requested as a condition of getting the memos.

A person familiar with the concerns said Peña was the doctor who delineated those concerns.

Jackson, a Navy rear admiral and former combat physician who served in Iraq, came under scrutiny after the office of Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) released a list of allegations about him from more than 20 unnamed current and former work colleagues.

Advertisement

President Trump has decried the allegations as “not true” and has attacked Tester, who is up for reelection in November. Some of the allegations, including that Jackson crashed a government car after drinking, have been called into doubt by the Secret Service and the White House.

Officials announced this week that Jackson would not return as Trump’s personal physician but would continue to work within the White House Medical Unit.


Newsletter
Get our twice-weekly Politics newsletter
Advertisement