Labor Secretary Alex Acosta resigns

The resignation comes amid a much-criticized 2008 plea deal with multimillionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein.
5:34 | 07/12/19

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Transcript for Labor Secretary Alex Acosta resigns
This is an ABC news special were. Good morning I'm Paula Ferris with a special report we do have breaking news we have just learned. That labor secretary Alex a Costa has resigned from his position. Of course top Democrats had been calling for his resignation of late for his involvement in the early 2000 non prosecution. A billionaire Jeffrey app Steen who just this week. Was arrested for child sex trafficking charges he faces up to 45 years in prison Tommy Thomas. Who has been speaking with victims and who has been on the story from the very beginning. Joins us on the phone and and Tom let me ask you because earlier this week. I'm Alex a cost held a press conference and hear overseeing it and he really said he enjoyed the full support of the president. He didn't offer an apology to these Vick Dunn's so what changed in the last couple of days. Paula this is a stunning turn of events as you mentioned secretary Costa was adamant she stood his ground he did good the way he act but it looks at colonel in the southern district court at eleven years ago when he officially. Jeffrey Epstein at Oak Creek when non prosecution agreement at only serve thirteen months in county jail. Creeks paid two weeks who people could go to work. Even though there were forty women would come forward it was at PT two page indictment. Back to let years ago when a card that says the best they could do what could get him jail comic embers sex offender as Richards refused to apologize unusually difficult we were getting from the White House. Or that they thought he'd done a fine job but not that he keep his job. But then today I. I need to rent and now he's resigned credit card called the story has not gone away each typically the wideout Patrick but people can't wrestle back the news cycle and more and more information is coming out every page and corporate or look Good Morning America reported. Poor victims or come forward nearly it doesn't present have come forward. He prosecutors in New York made a publicly asking any women out here they hadn't experienced with chip react if they were sexually assault with a cup port. And now we're learning more quitting how come forward. That would be applicable in this but but a stunning turn of events follow up. RA tying up some let's go to John Carla chief White House correspondent on the phone. John I hear that president trump is talking right now about a cost of course recently he said he felt very badly form but seem to support him of course the White House couldn't get away. From this story in his involvement in his so so what can you tell us about the White House reaction and Trump's reaction in particular. The president he's insisting that this was entirely. Alex Acosta is decision. In fact being nice standing with a with a cost talking about this some the way to South Lawn. A key said that a Costa wasn't just a good secretary of labor he was a great secretary of labor. But he called them they wanted to do this for his part a cost as saying it would have been selfish for him to stay on the job all this. All of these allegations were swirling but I've got to tell you that aside Paula it reduced its an abrupt turnaround for Alex Acosta this is an abrupt turnaround for this White House he. What was expressing both publicly and privately. 880 desire to fight on insisting that he did absolutely nothing wrong whatsoever. The other thing that I can tell you is even as the president is praising him. It there's been a pattern what would president trumped we have seen from the first weeks of his administration. Even as somebody is. Either forced to resign or fired the president often says words of praise as they are going out the door and the one thing that this president. It does not. Tolerate he is goes on his team making problems for him so he will never backed down you'll fight he won't he won't rule refused to apologize trading involving himself. But when somebody on his team has as problems that then start to ricochet and become issues up for him he has very little tolerance. And one real quick question for you time the president is saying that this was a cost is decision solely you just said that. But did you have full confidence that it was his decision. Look I I have no doubt they've decided that that was Acosta who called and said I'm going to resign that this thing is it we its situations. Like this to present in always has the ability are almost always has the ability to pull somebody back can. And again and what seems to me when will report this outer room. Were over the coming hours and days Paula but I I since no serious effort from this White House. To get a Costa to stay on the job in terms of whether or not he was. Forced out. Explicitly. I see no signs of that. But but but I I said it did this the president did does not like to see members of his people to work for him. Members of his team. Creating problems. They did it it ricocheted and effective an effective. A right time Karl our chief White House correspondent and time you must thank you so again just to recap another cabinet member. Is out as Alex Acosta has officially resigned from his position as labor secretary. We're gonna have much more coverage throughout the day on ABC news abcnews.com. And for those of you on the West Coast will return to our regular programming which is Good Morning America I'm Paula Ferris have a good morning. This has been a special. From ABC.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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