Acosta resigns in Trump presser

A courtroom sketch of Jeffrey Epstein's hearing last Monday

A courtroom sketch of Jeffrey Epstein's hearing last Monday

"Thought he did a fantastic job". He's a friend of everybody in the Administration. He made a deal that people were happy with, and then 12 years later, they're not happy with it. Forget about Ryan "remounting the moral high horse about this president's personal life - I don't care about his personal life", Cuomo said. "And Alex called me this morning, and he wanted to see me".

But Trump did not originally want to be seen as cutting ties with him over a decade-old episode, even as some of his longest advisers believed Acosta's departure was inevitable given the cascade of sustained news coverage and the facts of the case. He was a-he's a tremendous talent. "He's a Hispanic man; he went to Harvard". "I said to Alex, you don't have to do this".

I make a great deal with anybody, and then they say, like the Democrats, oh it could have been better, ' Trump said.

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In his resignation letter to the president obtained by CBS News, Acosta called his role at the Labor Department "the honor of a lifetime". Acosta said he didn't think it was right for his handling of Epstein's case to distract from his work as secretary of labour.

Epstein avoided federal charges, pleaded guilty to state charges and served 13 months in jail.

Acosta, who assumed the position in April 2017, entered the spotlight recently after Epstein was arrested last week on charges of sex-trafficking of underage girls involving allegations dating to the early 2000s. The FBI-NYPD Crimes Against Children Task Force said in court days later that investigators found "nude photographs of what appeared to be underage girls". Acosta explained to reporters that prosecutors took this approach because the agreement negotiated with Epstein had "an unusual provision", in that it would require Epstein to pay victims restitution.

The official emphasized 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. Brown spoke to Epstein's accusers, who, as she reported a year ago, "believe they were betrayed by the very prosecutors who pledged to protect them".

He proceeded to promise Epstein counsel Jay Lefkowitz, a partner at his former firm Kirkland & Ellis, that rather than abide by the law that requires he inform victims, he would hide the plea that let Epstein plead to two charges of prostitution (by law, it's sexual assault and rape, not prostitution, when young girls are solicited for sex). Epstein served 13 months of an 18-month sentence and was allowed to leave jail for work purposes.

What's Acosta's connection to Epstein's 2008 plea deal?

The Epstein case came up Acosta's Senate confirmation hearing but the Republican-majority Senate approved him in a 60-38 vote.

"The rest of it, we'll have to look at it very carefully", Trump said in response to a question from a reporter in the Oval Office alongside Qatar's ruling emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.

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