At a media availability with the Emir of Qatar on Tuesday, President Donald Trump defended Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta amid growing calls for his resignation. Trump said he felt "very badly" for Acosta, who is on the receiving end of criticism for his handling of the 2008 Jeffrey Epstein case when he was the U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of Florida.
Trump, calling Acosta a "terrific guy," said he hasn't spoken to Jeffrey Epstein in over a decade and Acosta said the crimes the sex offender is being accused of now are "horrific."
TRUMP: I knew him like everybody in Palm Beach knew him. He was a fixture in Palm Beach. I had a falling out with him a long time ago. I don't think I've spoken to him for 15 years. I wasn't a fan. I was not -- a long time ago, I'd say maybe 15 years. I was not a fan of his, that I can tell you. I was not a fan of his. I feel very badly, actually for Secretary Acosta because I've known him as being someone who works so hard, done such a good job. I feel badly about that whole situation. But we're going to be looking at that and looking at it very closely.
The crimes committed by Epstein are horrific, and I am pleased that NY prosecutors are moving forward with a case based on new evidence.— Secretary Acosta (@SecretaryAcosta) July 9, 2019