President Trump told reporters Friday that Acosta was resigning
He said they spoke by phone Friday morning
Acosta as U.S. attorney in Florida negotiated a 2008 deal that allowed Epstein to avoid federal prosecution and serve just 13 months
Acosta defended the deal in a Wednesday press conference
New alleged victims emerged this week
Two Senate Democrats are demanding DOJ reveal status of internal probe following disclosure of ‘heinous and pervasive sex crimes’ by Jeffrey Epstein
Alleged conduct includes ‘witness tampering, harassment, or other obstructive behaviors’
By GEOFF EARLE
12 July 2019
Labor Secretary Alex Acosta is resigning just days after he defended his role in the Jeffrey Epstein case, President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House Friday.
Trump broke the news as he left the White House for Wisconsin, on a week rocked by new federal charges against Epstein in New York for trafficking in underage girls.
In a surprise move, the president brought his under-fire labor secretary along with him as he spoke to reporters to break the news.
Trump said Acosta had called him Friday to discuss the decision and that his labor secretary had done a ‘great job.’
‘You can always second guess,’ Trump said of the Epstein case in hindsight. Describing what he told Acosta, Trump said: ‘I said, ‘You don’t have to do this.’
Trump even defended what has been criticized as a ‘sweetheart deal’ Acosta negotiated with Epstein.
‘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,’ Trump said.
Acosta previously served as the U.S. attorney who negotiated a deal with Jeffrey Epstein that allowed the convicted sex offender to serve just 13 months in a Florida county jail.
In vouching for Acosta, Trump pointed to his academic pedigree and Cuban heritage.
‘This was him, not me, because I’m with him,’ Trump said. ‘He’s a tremendous talent. He’s a Hispanic man, he went to Harvard.’
‘We’re going to miss him,’ Trump said.
Acosta, who took questions for 53 minutes Wednesday about his role in Epstein’s guilty plea to state charges, said of his decision: ‘I thought the right thing was to step aside.’
‘I do not think it is right and fair for this administration’s Labor department to have Epstein as the focus rather than the incredible economy that we have today,’ Acosta said, explaining his decision.
‘It would be selfish for me to stay in this position and continue talking about a case that’s 12 years old, rather than about the amazing economy we have right now,’ he added.
Source: Labor Secretary Alex Acosta RESIGNS over Jeffrey Epstein sweetheart deal but Trump parades him on the White House lawn to praise his ‘great job’ and says: ‘He’s a Hispanic man who went to Harvard.’