Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta to Resign

Embattled Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta has announced he is resigning. Acosta made the announcement himself, accompanying the president out of the White House residence before the president’s departure for a trip to Milwaukee.

Acosta had defended his handling of a decade-old plea deal with financier Jeffrey Epstein on sex crime charges when Acosta was the U.S. attorney in Florida’s Southern District. Acosta faced renewed scrutiny over the case after Epstein was arrested on new federal sex trafficking charges in New York last week.

He told reporters he didn’t want Epstein to distract from the Trump administration’s accomplishments. President Trump said that Acosta called him Friday morning and said it was entirely Acosta’s decision.

Acosta will leave the administration in seven days.

At a nearly hour-long press conference at the Labor Department on Wednesday, Acosta described Epstein’s actions as “despicable,” insisting Epstein might have gotten away with no jail time if his office hadn’t gotten involved in the case that was being handled by the state. But Acosta struggled to answer questions about whether he would handle the case differently today, offering no apology to Epstein’s victims.

Asked if he would make the same deal now, Acosta responded: “We live in a very different world. Today’s world treats victims very, very differently.”