Mike Pence’s doctor’s expressed concerns about Ronny Jackson last fall

Posted at 10:32 AM, May 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-01 12:32:41-04

CBS News confirms that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and his deputy Joe Hagin were aware of concerns that Dr. Ronny Jackson made the Vice President’s doctor feel uncomfortable with his "accusatory" tone, "unprofessionalism," and "intimidating" and "aggressive" behavior stemming from a medical incident in September 2017 involving second lady Karen Pence, according to memos reviewed by a source familiar.

First reported by CNN, the doctor assigned by the U.S. military to the vice president wrote the series of memos documenting concerns about Jackson’s behavior. The medical situation required Mrs. Pence to be transported from Camp David to Walter Reed hospital.

Jackson had asked for reports on Mrs. Pence’s condition from physicians who initially treated her at Camp David. While the vice president’s physician wrote this was done "without malicious intent to circumvent their medical knowledge," the doctor also noted Jackson went on to share the information with senior medical providers and briefed members of President Trump’s White House staff "without specific consultation from the physician to the Vice President."

The vice president’s office will not disclose what the medical issue was, the specific circumstances surrounding it, or name of the physician assigned to the Pences, citing privacy concerns, but called the issue a "closed matter."

According to a source familiar with the memos, Jackson told the doctor to "let things go…if I am to succeed in my career," according to a memo written by the vice president’s physician. "This meeting summoned by Dr. Jackson appears to have been in retribution for me verbalizing concerns over the protection of the SLOTUS’ medical information and his inappropriate involvement in the decision-making process of her care, which is consistent with previous behavior that I have received from him in the past."

"This unprofessionalism fosters a negative command climate that removes any opportunity for open, professional discussion."

In September, the same month as the incident, the concerns were raised with the vice president’s chief of staff, Nick Ayers, who advised the individual to go through the military chain of command. Ayers also went to White House chief of staff John Kelly, who agreed with Ayers’ assessment. 

The White House denied a request for comment about what exactly the chief of staff did with that information. 

The vice president’s press secretary, Alyssa Farah, said that the second lady "has been briefed on all the facts related to a private matter regarding her health care. She is grateful for the professional care she received from all White House medical personnel who resolved the matter quickly. She considers the matter closed and has no further comment on the situation."