White House declines to offer Trump's full confidence in Acosta

White House declines to offer Trump's full confidence in Acosta
© Greg Nash

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday declined to say whether President TrumpDonald TrumpUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Trump sues NYT, Mary Trump over story on tax history McConnell, Shelby offer government funding bill without debt ceiling MORE has full confidence in Labor Secretary Alex AcostaAlex Alexander AcostaOn The Money: Trump slams relief bill, calls on Congress to increase stimulus money | Biden faces new critical deadlines after relief package | Labor rule allows restaurants to require broader tip pooling Labor rule allows restaurants to require broader tip pooling Federal litigator files complaint alleging Labor secretary abused his authority MORE, telling reporters that Acosta's involvement in a 2007 plea deal with alleged serial sex offender Jeffrey Epstein is "currently under review."

"Because of that I can’t get into a lot of specifics, but we’re certainly looking at it," Sanders said at a press briefing, adding that she's "not aware of any personnel changes."

Sanders said she's unsure of any timeline on the investigation into the handling of the case.


The Justice Department launched an investigation in early February into how federal attorneys handled Epstein's case more than a decade ago.

A federal judge ruled late last month that prosecutors, including Acosta, violated the rights of Epstein's accusers by failing to notify them that there was a non-prosecution agreement in place for the billionaire.

Trump told reporters last month that he didn't know much about the case, but that Acosta had "done a great job as Labor secretary." 

Acosta's role in the Epstein deal came under fresh scrutiny following a Miami Herald investigation into the case. The story quoted multiple people involved in the 2007 case who accused Acosta, who was a U.S. attorney in the Southern District of Florida at the time, of caving to pressure from Epstein's lawyers to cut a preferential plea deal.

Epstein originally faced a 53-page indictment for sex trafficking and related crimes. 

Democrats have pushed for Acosta's ouster in recent weeks, citing his involvement in the Epstein case.