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Alex Acosta on thin ice with Trump

Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta with President 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