Vice President Mike Pence’s doctor directed a top Pence aide to warn Chief of Staff John Kelly about Ronny Jackson’s behavior last fall, CNN reported.
According to internal memos obtained by CNN, Jackson — White House physician and President Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs who withdrew his nomination last week — intervened in a medical issue involving Second Lady Karen Pence in September, a move her physician thought was inappropriate and an abuse of his authority.
In the memo, the Pences’ doctor also said he thought Jackson’s involvement in the medical matter was a potential violation of federal privacy rights because Jackson reportedly briefed White House staff about the matter and shared details about the incident with other medical providers, CNN reported.
The Pences’ doctor — who was not named in the report — confronted Jackson about the situation. Jackson reportedly attempted to intimidate the Vice President’s doctor and was so angry about the encounter that he made the Pences’ doctor feel “uncomfortable,” according to CNN.
The Pences’ physician wrote that Jackson used an “accusatory” and “unprofessional” tone that was “aggressive” at times. The doctor said the September incident was part of a pattern of “intimidating” behavior on Jackson’s part that pushed him to consider resigning.
Karen Pence was also reportedly concerned about the breach of privacy that occurred when Jackson stepped in, and she reportedly asked her doctor to have her husband’s top aide, Nick Ayers, talk to Kelly about the incident. Kelly was reportedly aware of the matter from that point forward, according to CNN.
Jackson withdrew his nomination to run the VA last week after allegations surfaced that he created a hostile work environment in the White House medical unit, had issues with “excessive drinking” on the job and improperly dispensed medication. The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee delayed Jackson’s confirmation hearing last Tuesday while it reviewed the allegations, which were brought forward by at least 20 current and former military personnel.
Read CNN’s full report here.