President Trump announced Alex Acosta's resignation as secretary of labor from the White House lawn — but the conversation quickly turned to a number of unrelated topics.
Here's how it unfolded: President Trump, standing next to Acosta, announced that the labor secretary was stepping down. He insisted it was Acosta's decision — saying, "I just want to let you know, this was him, not me, because I’m with him" — before Acosta spoke.
Acosta addressed the renewed scrutiny over his previous handling of a plea deal with Jeffrey Epstein (you can read more about that here), saying he wanted to step down so the controversy doesn't become the focus of the Labor Department.
Then, Trump took questions from reporters — and they asked him about a lot of things not related to Acosta.
Here are the key things Trump said on the White House lawn:
- On Acosta, and his deal with Epstein: “He made a deal that people were happy with, and then 12 years later they’re not happy with it. You’ll have to figure all of that out. But the fact is, he has been a fantastic secretary of labor."
- On this weekend's ICE raids: "It starts on Sunday, and they're going to take people out and they're going to bring them back to their countries ... We're focused on criminals as much as we can, before we do anything else."
- On Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi: "I’ll tell you something about Nancy Pelosi that you know better than I do, she is not a racist. OK? She is not a racist."
- On former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan: "Paul Ryan let us down. Paul Ryan was a terrible speaker. Frankly, he was a baby. He didn't know what the hell he was doing."
- On Joe Biden's 2020 campaign: "President Xi, Putin all of these guys go to bed at night and they pray that Joe Biden or somebody like him becomes president so they can continue to rip off our country."