US President Donald Trump says Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta is stepping down following criticism of his handling of a plea deal with wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein, who is accused of sexually abusing dozens of underage girls.
Trump announced the news on Friday with Acosta by his side at the White House as the president left on a trip to the Midwest.
Acosta says stepping aside is the right decision.
He was the US attorney in Miami when he oversaw a 2008 nonprosecution agreement with Epstein.
Epstein avoided federal charges and served 13 months in jail.
Similar charges recently filed against Epstein by federal prosecutors in New York had put Acosta's role in the 2008 deal under renewed scrutiny.
© AAP 2019