Labor Secretary Acosta is out
President Trump spoke alongside Alex Acosta moments ago.
“He’s done a fantastic job. He’s a friend of everybody in the administration," Trump said.
The President addressed how Acosta handled a plea deal with millionaire Jeffrey Epstein year's ago. (Epstein's indictment this week has renewed fury over it.)
“He made a deal that people were happy with, and then 12 years later they’re not happy with it. You’ll have to figure all of that out. But the fact is, he has been a fantastic secretary of labor," Trump said.
The President continued:
A senior White House official said President Trump was stewing over Labor Secretary Alex Acosta’s fate yesterday as he and aides worried about the steady stream of revelations in the Jeffrey Epstein case.
“What did he know and when did he know it?” this official asked.
The official went on to emphasize that Acosta was not popular within the White House to begin with, given the grumblings over his perceived lack of enthusiasm for the President’s deregulatory agenda.
“Your well of support is not going to be deep if you’re not going to support the President’s agenda,” the official added.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, chairman of Oversight and Reform Committee, said Alex Acosta "did the right thing" by stepping down as labor secretary.
Here's what he told CNN just now:
Some context: Throughout this week, Acosta maintained he secured the best deal he could when he helped prosecute financier Jeffrey Epstein for sex crimes a decade ago, but acknowledged the terms look lenient with the passage of time.
Still, Acosta stopped short of apologizing for — or even saying that he regretted — his actions, which have come under renewed scrutiny after Epstein was indicted on fresh sex trafficking charges this week.