Over the weekend, 11-year-old audio of Donald Trump on a hot mic openly boasting to Billy Bush about grabbing unsuspecting women “by the pussy” went viral. The comments sparked outrage and caused many GOP lawmakers, including Speaker Paul Ryan, to abandon the Republican presidential nominee. (For his part in the conversation, Billy Bush has been suspended from NBC.)
But to Alabama senator Jeff Sessions, those comments aren’t so bad. According to the GOP lawmaker, they aren’t even describing sexual assault. Sessions, a top Trump surrogate, said Sunday night that while the Republican presidential nominee’s comments used “very improper language,” he doesn’t characterize the behavior Trump describes in the clip as sexual assault. “I think that’s a stretch. I don’t know what he meant,” Sessions told The Weekly Standard.
“So if you grab a woman by the genitals, that’s not sexual assault?” the reporter followed up.
“I don’t know,” Sessions replied. “It’s not clear that he — how that would occur.”
No matter what Sessions believes, Trump’s 2005 comments fairly clearly described sexual assault. Trump said: “You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”
(Via The Weekly Standard)