Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta announces resignation

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta announced he is stepping down amid pressure related to his role in the 2008 Jeffrey Epstein plea deal.
4:45 | 07/12/19

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Transcript for Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta announces resignation
We begin with breaking news out of the White House labor secretary Alexander a cost has officially. Resigned in this comes after backlash. Over his role in Jeffrey Epstein plea deal in 2008. A reminder. Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein is a registered sex offender and it was over was arrested over the weekend on charges of sex trafficking of minors. And conspiracy and president trump says. It was that cost is decisions I want to bring in Kyra Phillips cure Phillips at the White House. Keira what changed in the last couple of days you know he was defending themselves just just a few days ago. He was he was saying a lot of great things about the labor secretary what a terrific job that he is dealing and I can tell you first and Kimberly. This was a total shock to everybody we were just preparing. For the normal departure of the president as he would is getting ready to head to Milwaukee. For an event and so we had a number of questions lined up from all the issues that we wanted to talk to him about as you know when he leaves like this. Eight EO he comes up to the press any answers questions but as you can see by the video. This was the big shock labor secretary Alex the cost up. Walked out whip him everybody looked at each other stunts nobody expected this. So he walks to the mikes and it's very hard to hear because of the helicopter. And the president's talking about the labor secretary what a great job he is done how well the economy is doing how jobs are up. And so an after this long. Basically lift up speech about the secretary he says so we're really going to miss some and that's where everybody once again looked at each other and said. What to say. And that's when the labor secretary stepped to the might and said he was going to resign that it was he is decision. He called the president and said I do not want this Jeffrey Epstein story to be a distraction to what my job is supposed to be as labor secretary. And so. I am leaving the White House I did have a chance to ask the question are couple questions to the president and also secretary profit let's take a list and see what you have here. Though I had no idea. I had no idea I haven't spoken to. In many many years but I I did that bill. I've already I've already talked about. Yep that's right David press conference that according to the media was longer than. The other half that have been excellent this that the debate and L I I will reiterate what I bet previously. It showed you one thing that happened. And that was almost the entire exchange and I was able to have with the president there. So now the labor secretary is out the president also announcing second in command Patrick. His Allah will become the acting labor secretary immediately. And it'll be interesting to see how things continue to play out on this story and we were looking at the numbers I was trying to remember how many cabinet members. This now is Kimberly that that have departed the administration a cost is now the night. Cabinet member in the truck administration. To depart. Yeah that's it's pretty. Incredible and care I just went askew you know how well what message does it stand for presidents from to be standing next to a man who helped. Jeffrey Epstein in a plea deal. You know that's an interesting question. Heat clearly. Did not lift up Jeffrey obscene. Said he didn't like and said that they had a falling out. That he had no idea that exceeds behavior he in no way shape or form said he at any respect for Jeffrey Epstein even now we know. They have had a personal relationship but Epstein has spent time at mar a lot ago which by the way the president did confirm he did kick. Jeffrey Epstein out of mar a lot though. And then the president just continued to lift up the labor secretary that he's a Hispanic that he went to Harvard that he's done an incredible job as labor secretary. And didn't even. Go into talking about the plea deal. That the labor secretary had made almost a decade ago regarding Epstein so he defined the line definitely. Not talking well about Epstein and talking very well about his labor secretary as he took on the job there at the White House. All right Kara Phillips right there at the White House thank you so much.

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

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