Jul 10, 2019

Alex Acosta on thin ice with Trump

Photo: Oliver Contreras/Pool/Getty Images

President Trump defended Labor Secretary Alex Acosta yesterday for his plea deal with Jeffrey Epstein in a previous job, but Acosta doesn’t enjoy much goodwill at the White House.

The big picture: Many conservatives inside the administration don't view Acosta as one of them, and have been urging him to take aggressive deregulatory actions, per sources with direct knowledge.

  • Senior officials, including acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, have been frustrated with Acosta for moving too slowly and softly on deregulation.

What he's saying: Trump said he feels "very badly" for Acosta for the controversy about his handling of the sex trafficking case as a federal prosecutor in south Florida: "But we’re going to be looking at that, and looking at it very closely."

The bottom line: Acosta wasn’t standing on the firmest ground before the Epstein case exploded.

Go deeper ... What we know: The Jeffrey Epstein indictment

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Alex Acosta resigns as Trump's labor secretary

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Labor Secretary Alex Acosta announced Friday that he will resign next week during an appearance with President Trump at the White House.

The big picture: Acosta has faced scrutiny over his handling of the Jeffrey Epstein case during his tenure as a federal prosecutor in Florida. Trump said that Acosta had done a "very good job" at the Labor Department.

Go deeperArrowJul 12, 2019

House panel requests Acosta's testimony on Epstein's 2008 plea deal

Acosta listens to President Trump on May 2, 2018. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings requested Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta's testimony on Wednesday regarding his role in registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein's 2008 plea deal.

The latest: Cummings called for Acosta's testimony, scheduled for July 23. Acosta defended his role in Epstein's 2008 plea deal to reporters on Wednesday, saying "he faced a tough choice between accepting a plea deal that was not as tough as he wished it would be and going to trial with witnesses who were scared to testify," per the New York Times.

Go deeperArrowJul 10, 2019

Acosta defends handling of 2008 Epstein plea deal

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta said Wednesday "facts are being overlooked" concerning his handling of a sex-trafficking case involving accused pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, as he defended his handling of the 2008 case.

Why it matters: Now Epstein faces sex trafficking charges involving minors in New York, Democrats including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are demanding Acosta resign over the lenient deal reached in the wealthy financier's earlier case, when the labor secretary was serving as U.S. attorney in southern Florida.

Go deeperArrowJul 11, 2019