Once Motorcade Pals, Congressman and Photographer Are Now Public Foes

WASHINGTON — They were once seatmates in the spare limousine of the White House motorcade, traveling the globe together as part of the president’s inner circle.

Bonded by the miles they logged on the road and their unique access to power, Pete Souza, the former official White House photographer who took nearly two million photographs of former President Barack Obama, and Representative Ronny Jackson of Texas, the former White House physician who was elected to Congress as a Republican in 2020, were once close friends.

Now, they are the most public of enemies on social media, where Mr. Jackson routinely hurls insults and unsubstantiated claims of cognitive decline at President Biden and Mr. Souza responds with bitingly personal, sometimes salacious takedowns of the congressman’s character. He often begins them tauntingly with, “Hey Ronny.”

Their break is a particularly vivid and public example of how allegiance or opposition to former President Donald J. Trump has driven more Americans into partisan corners, sometimes transforming personal relationships in the process.