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Amid Epstein child sex scandal, Trump doesn’t rule out firing Secretary Acosta

© Provided by CQ Roll Call, Inc. Alex Acosta, center, then-nominee for secretary of Labor, talks with Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., left, and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, after the senators introduced him during his Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions confirmation hearing in March 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Tuesday left open the possibility that he might fire Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta over a plea deal he struck last decade with accused child sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein after top congressional Democrats called for his ouster.

Acosta has been an “excellent secretary of Labor,” Trump said. But the president stopped short of saying Acosta would remain a part of his Cabinet as yet another scandal has engulfed his administration.

“He’s done a fantastic job,” Trump said of Acosta. “What happened 12 or 15 years ago … if you go back and look at everybody’s else’s decisions …. I would think you would probably find that they wish they did it maybe a different way.”

But in the next breath, the president left open the possibility that Epstein’s Saturday arrest on sex-trafficking girls as young as 14 years old, including the deal Acosta cut in a 2007 case against Epstein when he was a United States attorney in Florida.

“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.

He also defended the 2007 plea agreement.

Roll Call

9th July 2019

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