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Rep. Ronny Jackson was 'briefly detained' while assisting in a medical emergency at a rodeo, his office says

The office of the GOP congressman, who served in the White House Medical Unit under three presidents, said Jackson was detained while trying to assist someone "in a very loud and chaotic environment" Saturday.
Rep. Ronny Jackson, R-Texas, at the Capitol on July 14, 2023.
Rep. Ronny Jackson, R-Texas, was "briefly detained" by law enforcement while attending a rodeo Saturday, his office said.Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images file

Rep. Ronny Jackson, R-Texas, was “briefly detained” by law enforcement while attending a rodeo Saturday, his office said.

A spokesperson for the congressman said in a statement that Jackson, who was trained as an emergency room physician, was detained by law enforcement amid a “very loud and chaotic environment” at the rodeo.

Jackson was summoned by someone in the crowd to assist a 15-year-old girl who was having a medical emergency, his office said.

Jackson’s office said in a statement that a nurse who was a relative of the girl was already providing assistance when the congressman arrived at the scene. When Jackson asked if she needed help, she said yes, his office said, noting “there were no uniformed EMS providers on the scene at that time.”

“While assessing the patient in a very loud and chaotic environment, confusion developed with law enforcement on the scene and Dr. Jackson was briefly detained and was actually prevented from further assisting the patient,” his office said in the statement. “He was immediately released as soon as law enforcement realized that he, as a medical professional, was tending to the young girl’s medical emergency.”

Jackson's office also noted that the congressman sat in the stands during the entire rodeo and was not drinking. It is unclear why the office made the statement. In 2021, Jackson was found by a Pentagon inspector general's report to have engaged in “inappropriate conduct” while serving as the top White House physician, including allegations that he drank on the job, which he denied.

The Carson County sheriff’s office did not immediately respond to NBC News’ request for comment. County Sheriff Tam Terry said in a statement to The Texas Tribune that one person was “temporarily detained” while authorities responded to calls during a concert at the rodeo Saturday night. Terry did not release the person’s identity. He said his department was “reviewing the incident” and would withhold any names until the review was complete, the Tribune reported.

Jackson previously served in the White House Medical Unit during the George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump administrations. In 2019, Trump appointed him as chief medical adviser and assistant to the president.

Jackson was elected to Congress in 2020 and was re-elected in 2022. He is among Trump’s most vocal allies in Congress.