White House officials were impressed by Labor Secretary Alex Acosta’s “lawyerly” performance during a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, in which he outlined his role in Jeffrey Epstein’s 2008 sweetheart deal for sex abuse crimes and took questions from reporters for almost a full hour.
According to Politico, White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said Acosta did “exactly what he wanted to do with the facts.” Other White House officials were reportedly stirred by Acosta’s hour-long question-and-answer session with reporters, people familiar with the matter told Politico.
“He did what he needed to do,” a former White House official told Politico.
While Acosta defended his role in the lenient Epstein deal, he barraged the billionaire and accused sex trafficker and argued his sole motivation for cutting a deal with the defense team was to ensure Epstein received jail time. Acosta notably did not apologize to the victims of Epstein’s sex abuse, likely a move meant to impress the President, according to Politico.
While Politico reports that Acosta’s job is safe for now, it is still unclear how long Trump will stand by his labor secretary. Trump is reportedly making that decision based on how long Acosta remains in the news cycle.