Labor secretary resigns amid outrage over Jeffery Epstein case

In a news conference this week, Alexander Acosta defended his handling of the case against the financier but a former state prosecutor called his version of events "completely wrong."
2:48 | 07/12/19

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Transcript for Labor secretary resigns amid outrage over Jeffery Epstein case
watching your forecasts this weekend. And the other headline, out of the white house, just 48 hours after taking questions, Alex Acosta is out tonight, resigning today. President trump by his side. Saying of his labor secretary, I'm with him. Kyra Phillips was at the white house as this played out. Reporter: He tried to defend his reputation, but today Alexander Acosta stood next to president trump, who announced his labor secretary was stepping down. This was him, not me, because I'm with him. He was -- he's a tremendous talent, he's a hispanic man. He went to Harvard, a great student. Reporter: Acosta under fire since the recent arrest of wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein on child sex trafficking charges. When Acosta was U.S. Attorney in Florida 12 years ago, dozens of young women accused Epstein of abusing them. But Acosta gave the multimillionaire a plea deal that sent him to county jail for just 13 months. He was even allowed to go to work six days a week. In a lengthy news conference, Acosta insisted state prosecutors would have let Epstein go free. We did what we did because we wanted to see Epstein go to jail. He needed to go to jail. Reporter: But the former state prosecutor called Acosta's version of events "Completely wrong." And sources tell us the news conference didn't go over well in the white house. Less than 48 hours later, Acosta resigns. It would be selfish for me to stay in this position and continue talking about a case that's 12 years old. Reporter: President trump praised Acosta as a great labor secretary. And said he's no fan of Epstein. But it wasn't always that way. In 2002, trump called Epstein a "Terrific guy," adding "It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side." Did you have any suspicions that he was molesting young women, underage women -- No, I had no idea. I D no idea. I haven't spoken to him in many, many years. I didn't want anything to do with him. Kyra Phillips, asking the president that question today. She's live with us. And this resignation means there's seven cabinet level officials serving -- Reporter: That's right. We should know Alex Acosta, well, he was the only Latino member of president trump's cabinet. Kyra, thank you. It was a very unsettling day for millions in the west.

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

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