Obama on Bill Cosby Scandal: America ‘Should Have No Tolerance For Rape’

By Sameer Rao Jul 16, 2015

During what was supposed to be a press conference exclusively covering the Iran deal—one that has become infamous for a tussle between Obama and CBS News’ Major Garrett—the president weighed in on Bill Cosby’s ongoing sexual assault scandal. In response to a question about whether he would revoke the Presidential Medal of Honor that George W. Bush awarded Cosby in 2002, Obama both declared that there was no precedent and that cultures should not excuse rape: 

"With respect to the Medal of Freedom, there is no precedent for revoking a medal. We don’t have that mechanism. And, as you know, I tend to make it a policy not to comment on the specifics of cases where there still might be, if not criminal, then civil issues involved. I’ll say this…if you give a woman, or a man for that matter, without his or her knowledge, a drug…and then, have sex with that person without consent? That’s rape. And, uh, this country—any civilized country – should have no tolerance for rape." 

Obama is currently visiting Oklahoma, where he is speaking on economic opportunity and visiting a federal corrections facility in El Reno—the first sitting president to do so. His visit to El Reno will be followed by Vice for a special to be released in the fall. The president has already been greeted by Confederate flag-waving protesters.  

(H/t New York Times, TIME, VICE)