Fmr Sen. McCaskill Offers Mea Culpa for Voting to Confirm Labor Sec. Acosta: ‘Do I Regret That Vote? You Bet I Do’


Former Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes that she is now sorry for voting to confirm Labor Secretary Alex Acosta in 2017: “Do I regret that vote? You bet I do.”

Acosta has come under fire now that multi-millionaire Jeffrey Epstein has been indicted on sex trafficking charges more than a decade after the then-U.S. Attorney of Southern Florida gave Epstein an extremely lenient deal for facing federal sex crimes charges in 2008.

“It’s one I’d like to take back. I’m embarrassed about that vote,” the ex-Missouri senator acknowledged. “Now, do I regret that vote? You bet I do. Because I spent years in the courtroom prosecuting sex offenders.”

McCaskill joined eight other Democrats and one independent in voting to confirm Acosta when he was nominated by President Donald Trump in 2017. Among those eight, McCaskill, along with Democratic Senators Heidi Heitkamp and Bill Nelson, lost their re-election bids in 2018.

Though she expressed her regrets, McCaskill couldn’t help but offer up “context” on why she voted in favor of Acosta’s nomination.

“The guy who had been nominated before [Acosta] was from St. Louis,” she said, referring to Andy Puzder, the former CEO of the Hardees and Carls Jr. restaurant chains whose Labor Secretary nomination fell apart in March 2017. “A crusader against Roe v. Wade, and against the minimum wage, and against working people. So when a nominee came along that the firefighters union supported and the labor union supported. I think as somebody from a state where Trump had done very well, I was going ‘OK, maybe this guy [Acosta].'”

Watch the video above, via MSNBC.

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