Embattled Labor Secretary Alex Acosta has resigned, President Donald Trump told reporters outside the White House on Friday.
Trump told reporters, per PBS NewsHour, that: “He did an unbelievable job...until this came up there was never an ounce of problem.”
Acosta’s deputy, Pat Pizzella, will step in as acting secretary.
Acosta’s resignation follows a disastrous press conference earlier this week where he attempted to defend his role in negotiating a non-prosecution agreement for alleged pedophile Jeffrey Epstein as a federal prosecutor in 2008.
Update, 10:30 a.m. ET: Insisting that the decision to resign was “him, not me,” Trump praised Acosta as “a Hispanic man” who “went to Harvard, a great student.”
“In so many ways I just hate what he’s saying now,” Trump added.
Speaking briefly alongside the president outside the White House, Acosta continued to defend his decisions regarding Epstein, but said that “I do not think it is right and fair for this administration’s Labor Department to have Epstein as the focus, rather than the incredible economy.” He also emphasized that the case is “12 years old.”
This is a developing story and will be updated.