1. SOUNDBITE (English) Donald Trump, U.S. President:
"Well, you know I, I met Secretary Acosta this first time, I know, when I made the deal to bring him on into the administration. I can tell you that for two and a half years he's been just an excellent Secretary of Labor. He's done a fantastic job. Part of it is our economy is so good, our unemployment numbers are at record lows. You know, so many good things are happening. But the fact is he's been a very good Secretary of Labor. What happened 12 or 15 years ago with respect to when he was a U.S. attorney I think in Miami, is it Miami? (Reporter: Yes) And you know if you go back and look at everybody else's decisions, whether it's a U.S. attorney or an assistant U.S. attorney or a judge, you go back 12 or 15 years ago or 20 years ago and look at their past decisions, I would think you'd probably find that they would wish they maybe did it a different way. I do hear that there were a lot of people involved in that decision, not just him. I can only say this from what I know and what I do know is that he's been a great, really great Secretary of Labor. The rest of it we'll have to look, we'll have to look at it very carefully. But, you're talking about a long time ago and again it was a decision made, I think not by him but by a lot of people. So, we're going to look at it very carefully. We'll be looking at that very carefully. OK? Anybody else?
Reporter: Mr President do you still think that Jeffrey Epstein is a terrific guy?
Well, I knew him like everybody in Palm Beach knew him. I'm mean people in Palm Beach knew him. He was a fixture in Palm Beach. I had a falling out with him a long time ago. I don't think I've spoken to him for 15 years. I wasn't a fan. I was not ... Yeah a long time ago. I'd say maybe 15 years. I was not a fan of his, that I can tell you, that I can tell you. I was not a fan of him. So I feel very badly actually for Secretary Acosta, because I've known him as being somebody that worked so hard and has done such a good job. I feel very badly about that whole situation."
President Donald Trump says he'll look "very closely" at Labor Secretary Alex Acosta's handling of a sex trafficking case involving billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Trump says he feels "very badly" for Acosta because he's been a "very good" secretary.
Acosta was a federal prosecutor in south Florida when he was involved in a 2008 plea deal that allowed Epstein to avoid prosecution on federal charges of molesting teenage girls. He pleaded guilty to state charges and spend 13 months in jail.
Acosta's role in the Epstein case came under renewed scrutiny after federal prosecutors in New York filed similar charges Monday against Epstein. Epstein has pleaded not guilty to the new sex trafficking charges.
Some members of Congress and Democratic presidential candidates are calling on Acosta to resign.