Friday, July 12, 2019


Alex Acosta is out:
President Trump’s embattled labor secretary, R. Alexander Acosta, on Friday announced his plans to resign as controversy lingered over his handling of a sex crimes case involving a financier, Jeffrey E. Epstein, when Mr. Acosta was a federal prosecutor in Florida....

“He felt the constant drumbeat of press about a prosecution which took place under his watch more than 12 years ago was bad for the Administration, which he so strongly believes in, and he graciously tendered his resignation,” the president wrote in a Twitter post after he stood with Mr. Acosta on the South Lawn of the White House and spoke to reporters before leaving for Milwaukee and Cleveland.
("He felt the constant drumbeat of press" and "graciously tendered his resignation" don't strike me as Trump's prose style. I think someone else wrote this. Trump approved it, and possibly contributed "which he so strongly believes in.")

In Acosta's news conference on Wednesday, he did what he thought might save him: He defended his actions and avoided remorse. But clearly that wasn't what his boss demanded.

Here are a couple of tweets from a Politico reporter, sent a few hours before the news conference:

Obviously he was supposed to throw a fit, like Brett Kavanaugh (and Lindsey Graham) in the afternoon session of Christine Blasey Ford hearing, or at least scorch some earth, like Trump in the presidential debate that took place just after the Access Hollywood tape was released (and in the pre-debate news conference where Trump introduced a panel of Bill Clinton accusers). Acosta tried to make a reasonable-sounding case for himself, but reasonable wasn't going to save his job. Attacking Democrats, attacking the media, raising the specter of Clinton's flights on Jeffrey Epstein's plane -- that's what would have saved his job. Nasty would have saved his job. Unhinged would have saved his job.

Not everyone can do that, or would want to. But it was Acosta's only chance, and he blew it.

No comments: