Vice President Pence’s physician resigned this week, as fallout continued to swirl around President Trump’s failed nomination of his own doctor, Ronny Jackson, to head the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Dr. Jennifer Peña, a military physician on detail at the White House, like Jackson, submitted her resignation this week. Pence’s office learned of her resignation on Friday.
“The Vice President’s office was informed today by the White House Medical unit of the resignation,” press secretary to Pence, Alyssa Farah, said in a statement to Fox News. “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.”
First reported by CNN, Peña detailed her claims of professional misconduct against Jackson in memos to senators considering his nomination to head the VA. CNN also reported that Peña claimed Jackson may have violated Second Lady Karen Pence’s patient privacy rights by sharing details of a medical incident involving her to chief of staff John Kelly.
Jackson withdrew his name from consideration last week, saying the “false allegations” against him had become a “distraction” for the president.
Jackson resigned last week from his post as White House physician.
Jackson was accused of multiple incidents of drunkenness on duty, including one where he allegedly got drunk at a Secret Service going-away party and wrecked a government car. Jackson said he had “no idea” where the claim came from.
Jackson was also said to be nicknamed “Candyman” because he would provide prescriptions without paperwork such as the sleep aide Ambien.
A 2012 report by the Navy’s Medical Inspector General also accused him of exhibiting “unprofessional behaviors” amid a power struggle over the White House medical unit.
“The allegations against me are completely false and fabricated. If they had any merit, I would not have been selected, promoted and entrusted to serve in such a sensitive and important role as physician to three presidents over the past 12 years,” Jackson said in a statement. “Unfortunately, because of how Washington works, these false allegations have become a distraction for the president and the important issue we must be addressing—how we give the best care to our nation’s heroes.”
Fox News’ John Roberts, Jennifer Bowman, and Adam Shaw contributed to this report.