NEW YORK: Labor Secretary Alex Acosta said his role in a molestation case involving financier Jeffrey Epstein hasn’t changed his relationship with President Donald Trump and White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.
He told reporters in a news conference Wednesday that his relationship with the president is “outstanding.” He said he spoke with Mulvaney earlier Wednesday and has an excellent relationship with the chief of staff as well.
Acosta, a former federal prosecutor in south Florida, has been under scrutiny for his part in a secret 2008 plea deal that let Epstein avoid federal prosecution on charges that he molested teenage girls.
A senior administration official tells The Associated Press that Trump encouraged Acosta to hold a press conference laying out his thinking and role on the plea deal. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private talks.
Epstein has pleaded not guilty to new charges in New York City.
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