Kellyanne Conway defends Trump Labor secretary amid fresh scrutiny over Epstein deal

White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayClarence Thomas, Joe Manchin, Rudy Giuliani among guests at second state visit under Trump George Conway: If Trump pushed Ukraine to investigate Biden, he 'should be impeached and removed from office' Obama, Bush among those paying tribute to Cokie Roberts: 'A trailblazing figure' MORE on Tuesday defended Labor Secretary Alexander AcostaAlex Alexander AcostaDemocrats hit Scalia over LGBTQ rights Trump officially nominates Eugene Scalia as Labor secretary pick Our farmers need a better labor program MORE amid renewed calls from Democrats for his resignation over his ties to Jeffrey Epstein.

"[Trump] met Alex AcostaAlex Alexander AcostaDemocrats hit Scalia over LGBTQ rights Trump officially nominates Eugene Scalia as Labor secretary pick Our farmers need a better labor program MORE when Alex applied and got the job, where he’s doing a great job. You look at the economy," Conway told reporters on the White House driveway.

Conway skirted multiple questions about whether Trump still had confidence in Acosta, instead criticizing the media and Democrats for focusing on the Labor secretary instead of Epstein's crimes.

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"It’s classic [Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBiden blasts Trump, demands he release transcript of call with foreign leader Pelosi wants to change law to allow a sitting president to be indicted Overnight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Walmart to stop selling e-cigarettes | Senators press FDA to pull most e-cigarettes immediately | House panel tees up e-cig hearing for next week MORE (D-Calif.)] and her Democratic Party to not focus on the perpetrator at hand and instead to focus on a member of the Trump administration," Conway told reporters. "They’re so obsessed with this president that they immediately go to Alex Acosta."

Pelosi late Monday joined several other House Democrats in urging Acosta to step down over his role in a years-old plea deal Acosta oversaw that allowed Epstein to avoid a possible life sentence. They argued the 2008 plea deal he helped negotiate as a U.S. attorney in Miami allowed Epstein to victimize more young women and girls.

Epstein was charged Monday in New York with sex trafficking. He has pleaded not guilty.

"As US Attorney, he engaged in an unconscionable agreement w/ Jeffrey Epstein kept secret from courageous, young victims preventing them from seeking justice," Pelosi tweeted late Monday. "This was known by @POTUS when he appointed him to the cabinet."

While serving as U.S. attorney in Miami in 2008, Acosta oversaw negotiations that ended with a favorable plea deal for Epstein that allowed the billionaire to avoid federal prosecution and a possible life sentence. Instead, Epstein pleaded guilty to state prostitution charges and served roughly a year in prison.

A federal judge ruled in February that prosecutors in the case violated the Crime Victims Rights Act by failing to inform Epstein’s victims about the plea deal.

Conway on Tuesday noted that Acosta addressed the plea deal when he was asked about it at his confirmation hearing in 2017. Acosta defended the arrangement, arguing it forced Epstein to register as a sex offender and ensured he served at least some time in jail. 

"You want to revisit what happened in Florida," Conway said. "New York has applied fresh charges to Jeffrey Epstein because they have a right to do that and I hope we’re all paying attention to the true perpetrator here."