- The Washington Times - Friday, February 22, 2019

President Trump on Friday defended two allies facing controversies, saying he was “surprised” at prostitution solicitation charges lodged against NFL team owner Robert Kraft, and mounting a stiff defense of Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, who was dinged for his handling of a child exploitation case.

An internal investigation this week said Mr. Acosta, a former federal prosecutor in Florida, broke the law by cutting a plea deal with billionaire Jeffrey Epstein over charges of sexual abuse of teenagers without giving the victims a chance to weigh in.

“I really don’t know too much about it,” Mr. Trump said of the case. “I know he’s done a great job as labor secretary and that seems like a long time ago, but I know he’s been a fantastic labor secretary. That’s all I can really tell you about it. That’s all I know.”

As for Mr. Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots franchise, charged with soliciting prostitutes at a massage spa in Florida, the president called it “sad.” Mr. Trump and Mr. Kraft are friends.

Authorities in Jupiter, Florida, say Mr. Kraft was caught on camera paying for sex.

“Well, that’s very sad. I was very surprised to see it. He’s proclaimed his innocence totally,” Mr. Trump said.

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