WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump named Florida attorney Alexander Acosta his second nominee to be Labor Secretary on Thursday, after his first pick, Andrew Puzder lost the support of GOP senators.
Trump announced his Acosta selection at the White House, where he said he has made “incredible progress” since becoming president on Jan. 20, aiming a broadside at former President Barack Obama – though not by name – when he declared, “I inherited a mess.”
He also attacked the press as “dishonest and out of control.”
If confirmed, Acosta would be the first Hispanic in Trump’s cabinet.
Puzder withdrew his name on Wednesday in the wake of several problems that developed, suggesting that the Trump White House did not do a very complete vetting.
*A Huffington Post story broke the news that Puzder employed an undocumented housekeeper and never paid her taxes until he was up for the cabinet post.
Puzder, a major Trump donor, was the CEO of CKE Restaurants Holdings, the parent company of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s.
*POLITICO had the scoop that Puzder’s former wife went on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” to discuss allegations of abuse, which she later withdrew.
*Not helping on Capitol Hill: Carl’s sexy ads featuring scantly-clad women.
Acosta is the Dean at the Florida International University College of Law.
From Acosta’s FIU bio: “R. Alexander Acosta became the second dean of the FIU Law in 2009. A native of Miami and first-generation lawyer, Dean Acosta earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard College and his law degree from Harvard Law School. After serving as law clerk to Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., then a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Dean Acosta practiced law at the firm of Kirkland & Ellis and taught law at the George Mason School of Law.
“Dean Acosta has served in three presidentially-appointed, senate-confirmed positions. He was a member of the National Labor Relations Board, where he participated in or authored more than 125 opinions. He went on to be the first Hispanic to hold the rank of Assistant Attorney General. Most recently, Dean Acosta served as the U.S. Attorney for Southern District of Florida, and was the longest serving U.S. Attorney in the District since the 1970s.”