Acosta Resignation

Al Drago/Getty Images

Al Drago/Getty Images


We ran the numbers: There are 1809 news articles covering this topic. 58% (1044) are left leaning, 33% (593) center, and 10% (172) are right leaning.

In light of the recent charges against Jeffery Epstein for sex trafficking, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta resigned last Friday over his controversial handling of a plea deal involving Epstein in 2008. 

Criticism of Acosta began as early as last year when an investigative series in the Miami Herald chastised Acosta’s role as former U.S. Attorney. Critics claim that Acosta engaged in a much too lenient plea deal with Epstein. In 2008, Epstein pleads guilty to committing sex crimes under an agreement made by Acosta. In response to the criticism, Acosta asserts that if his office did not intervene, Epstein would have enjoyed an even lighter penalty than the one he received. 

The attention drawn to Acosta’s actions as then-U.S. Attorney caused many Democrats in Washington to call for his resignation. 

Only two days after Acosta said he had no plans to step down from his position as Labor Secretary, he decided to resign, despite President Trump’s lack of encouragement. 

Acosta was noted as having a close relationship with Trump, frequently touting the President’s successes. However, Acosta received much scrutiny from several White House officials, such as Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, who criticized Acosta for not acting fast enough to roll back Obama-era labor regulations. 

Coverage on the Acosta resignation varied greatly across different news outlets. A Washington Post article used the resignation as an opportunity to critique Acosta’s tenure in the Trump administration as well as his relationship with President Trump. “He had an amicable, if not close, relationship with the president, frequently flattering him in private and public, and touting Trump’s success in maintaining a strong economy and good job numbers,” the article stated.

On the other hand, Fox News covered the resignation by noting how Acosta’s resignation came as a surprise due to its nontraditional manner. “It's one of the strangest departure orchestrations I can remember. Usually when you are leaving, you don't hold a press conference with the president as you leave,” Charles Lane said in the news transcript. Fox News further discussed the Jeffery Epstein allegations and the Trump administration’s desire to not be associated with them. 

More centrist news organizations such as NPR also covered the Acosta resignation by focusing more on Acosta’s announcement of his resignation. They included a statement from Acosta saying, "I do not think it is fair for this administration's Labor Department to have Epstein as its focus rather than the incredible economy we have today," Acosta said. "The right thing was to step aside," the article quoted. After discussing his resignation, the article shifted its focus to discussing expected changes in the department once Deputy Labor Secretary Patrick Pizzella takes over.