Tester Chastises Labor Secretary During Facebook Town Hall

Jul 10, 2019
Originally published on July 10, 2019 8:56 pm

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester echoed a call by many democrats for Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta’s resignation Wednesday during a Facebook Live town hall. 

“More and more is coming to light every day. I just think that this guy is a predator that should not be Secretary," Tester said. 

(EDITOR'S NOTE: After publishing this story, we received this clarification from Sen. Tester's staff: "Senator Tester misspoke here and meant that Epstein is a predator, and Acosta’s handling of his case means he should not be Secretary.")

Acosta is under scrutiny for his involvement in Jeffrey Epstein’s 2007 plea agreement, after Epstein was accused of soliciting prostitution from a minor. Since then, Epstein has been indicted for dozens more cases of abusing minors, many of which date back to before the plea deal.

“Whether it was because of political pressure, or whether it was because of money, or whether it was because Epstein hired a bunch of people that used to be his boss to represent them, lawyers, I don’t know," Tester said. "I can’t say why it happened, but it’s unacceptable.”  

Tester voted to confirm Acosta as Secretary of Labor in 2017. He said he would not have voted for Acosta if he’d known about his actions in the Epstein case.

Montana’s Republican Senator Steve Daines held a telephone conference call with the public yesterday, but did not talk about Acosta. None of the participants in the call brought up Acosta. Senator Daines did not take any questions from reporters during the call.

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