MSNBC’s Ruhle Goes After White House for Ducking Epstein Questions: Why Does Alex Acosta ‘Still Have a Job?’


MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle grumbled on Monday that the White House has been able to get away from tough questions about the connection between embattled financier Jeffrey Epstein and Labor Secretary Alex Acosta because it has ended the daily press briefing.

As MSNBC covered the news that federal prosecutors have formally charged Epstein for sex trafficking, Ruhle and co-host Ali Velshi asked White House correspondent Kelly O’Donnell if the Trump Administration has commented on the legal developments surrounding the case. O’Donnell said there has been nothing but silence from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue — a “notable” silence, in O’Donnell’s view, given Epstein’s relationships with both Acosta and President Donald Trump.

Epstein had some degree of a social connection to Trump before the latter was elected president, but as for Acosta, O’Donnell explained that the labor secretary supervised the formation of a lenient plea deal for Epstein years ago when he was previously accused of molestation and sexual abuse. Since O’Donnell noted that Trump has praised Acosta but declined to say anything about Epstein yet, Ruhle asked for some historical perspective because “We don’t have a White House’s daily press briefings.”

“If we did,” Ruhle continued, “then Stephanie Grisham or whomever would be at the podium today, would be facing those questions: why does Acosta still have a job? They’re in a position right now where…they can just avoid it and have no comment.”

O’Donnell noted that the press corps tries to ask these types of questions during the White House’s “driveway gaggles,” but there’s “no doubt” the Trump Administration would face these questions with more frequency if formal briefings still took place. O’Donnell noted that Trump “never hesitates” to interject himself into a story whenever he wants to, so Ruhle remarked “but then he gets to control the narrative” in that situation.

“He would get to respond in the way he chooses, that’s for sure,” O’Donnell agreed.

Watch above, via MSNBC.

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