Moments after Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta announced he was resigning amid the furor over his role in convicted sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein’s sweetheart plea deal, Fox News anchor Chris Wallace openly wondered whether Acosta did so of his own volition or was “pushed” by President Trump.
Acosta’s Friday resignation came just two days after he held a press conference defending his role in giving Epstein a light sentence more than a decade ago. Before and after that presser, during which Acosta made himself the hero of the Epstein saga, the president continued to heap praise on his beleaguered labor secretary.
“I said you don’t have to do this,” Trump told Acosta during Friday’s announcement, asserting it was Acosta’s decision throughout. Acosta, for his part, claimed the Epstein case had become a distraction.
Wallace, meanwhile, appeared to echo public skepticism that this was solely Acosta’s choice.
“I don’t know whether he jumped or he was pushed,” the Fox News Sunday host said during an appearance on Fox News’ America’s Newsroom. “Certainly he and the president put the best face on it today.”
Adding that Trump and Acosta claimed it was a “selfless act” by the labor secretary, Wallace noted that there were an “awful lot of people in Washington” who didn’t think Acosta would be able to survive the scandal.
“Generally speaking, his press conference on Wednesday did not play to good reviews,” the Fox anchor observed. “Everybody ends up becoming a drama critic in these kinds of situations, you know. That he was very lawyerly, he didn’t show a lot of heart or sympathy, didn’t apologize to the victims.”
Wallace concluded by pointing out that Acosta wasn’t “the most important person” in the administration and that he was “expendable,” and therefore, either was told he needed to go or came to that determination on his own.