Trump names Alexander Acosta as new Labor secretary nominee

WASHINGTON -- President Trump named Alexander Acosta, the dean of the Florida International University law school, as his new nominee to be secretary of Labor Thursday.

"I think he’ll be a tremendous secretary of Labor," Trump said, ticking off Acosta's experience.

LIVE VIDEO: President Trump holds press conference

Acosta, the first Latino Trump has picked for his Cabinet, previously served as a member of the National Labor Relations Board and as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

In addition to his position at the law school, Acosta also serves as chairman of U.S. Century Bank, which is headquartered in Miami and is billed as one of the largest Latino community banks in the country.

Trump's last nominee, Andrew Puzder, withdrew on Wednesday, a day before he was scheduled to appear at a confirmation hearing.

The press conference would be Trump's third in a week. He took questions from reporters during joint conferences with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday and with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday.

Trump has yet to explain what he knew and when he knew about contacts between his former national security adviser Michael Flynn and Russian officials, in addition to reported contacts between Russians and his associates during the campaign. He has instead focused his ire on "leakers" who provided information about the contacts to the media.

When asked Thursday morning if he would find those responsible, the president said, "We're going to find the leakers."

"They're going to pay a big price for leaking," he said.

Trump made the remarks at a "listening session" with several members of Congress at the White House.

Trump took to Twitter early Thursday ostensibly to express his support for an investigation announced earlier this week by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Nunes said he would ask the FBI to do a probe "because we cannot continue to have these leaks as a government."

“The spotlight has finally been put on the low-life leakers! They will be caught!” Trump tweeted.

News reports about the contacts between Flynn and the Russian ambassador to the United States before Trump took office and the revelation that Flynn had lied to White House officials about them led earlier this week to his resignation, which the president asked for after what the White House described as an "erosion of trust."

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, have also asked the inspector general at the Department of Justice to investigate the leaking of the contents of intercepted communications, including Flynn’s.

“We have serious concerns about the potential inadequate protection of classified information here,” they wrote in a letter to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz Wednesday.

USA TODAY


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