Trump confidant: Acosta will be gone in weeks

A longtime confidant of President TrumpDonald TrumpHillicon Valley — State Dept. employees targets of spyware Ohio Republican Party meeting ends abruptly over anti-DeWine protesters Jan. 6 panel faces new test as first witness pleads the Fifth MORE said late Tuesday that Labor Secretary Alexander 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’s role in helping to secure a plea deal for financier Jeffrey Epstein more than a decade ago was “indefensible” and that he is “not going to stay for long” as a Cabinet member.

“My experience with Donald Trump is if he sees somebody is a bad apple ... he will stay as far away from that person is possible,” Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy told CNN’s Don LemonDon Carlton LemonDon Lemon disagrees with Carville on 'wokeness,' calls defund the police a 'stupid slogan' Chauvin jurors give first interview since guilty verdict Democrats brush off risks of paring down spending package MORE. “I think the plea agreement he did is indefensible."

When asked if that meant Acosta could be gone within weeks, Ruddy responded: “I think in a relatively quick period, he will be gone.”

Ruddy added that GOP senators were aware of the plea deal when they voted unanimously to confirm Acosta in April 2017, but now say privately that the situation has changed since federal prosecutors unsealed new charges against Epstein on Monday.

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“I think the president looks at this and says, ‘Hey, he did a good job as secretary of Labor, he passed a Senate confirmation where senators knew ... about this deal,' ” Ruddy said.

Acosta, previously a U.S. attorney in Florida, is under fire for his role in the Epstein case. Acosta oversaw a plea deal that allowed Epstein to spend just 13 months in prison after being convicted of sex crimes. 

A judge ruled in February that federal prosecutors under Acosta violated the law by hiding the agreement from Epstein's victims, according to the Miami Herald.

Epstein has pleaded not guilty to the new charges, which allege he abused dozens of underage girls between 2002 and 2005.

Top Democratic lawmakers and 2020 presidential candidates, including former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenPfizer CEO says vaccine data for those under 5 could be available by end of year Omicron coronavirus variant found in at least 10 states Photos of the Week: Schumer, ASU protest and sea turtles MORE, Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisJoe Manchin should embrace paid leave — now The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden defends disappointing jobs report Harris's office undergoes difficult reset MORE (D-Calif.) and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren calls on big banks to follow Capital One in ditching overdraft fees Crypto firm top executives to testify before Congress Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker won't seek reelection MORE (D-Mass.), have since called for Acosta to resign.

Acosta’s job security took a hit after Trump offered a muted defense of the Labor secretary and as GOP senators criticized his involvement in the plea deal.

Trump told reporters at the White House that Acosta has been a “very good” Labor secretary and that he “felt very badly” for Acosta, adding that he would be looking at the case “very carefully.”

Republican senators privately predict Acosta will eventually have to resign, while others say he is a political liability for Trump because of ties to Epstein, whom Trump socialized with years ago in Palm Beach, Fla.