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President Obama addresses Bill Cosby rape allegations

During a press conference to discuss his administration’s landmark nuclear deal with Iran, President Obama fielded a question about an unusual topic: Bill Cosby.

When asked if he believes Cosby’s Medal of Freedom, the highest award given to a civilian, should be revoked given the dozens of rape allegations levied against him, the president said there was “no precedent” for stripping the honor.

“There’s no precedent for revoking the medal,” President Obama said during the news conference. “We don’t have that mechanism.”

Instead of moving on to the next question, the president paused and then reminded the nation that having sex with someone who cannot is unable to consent is indeed rape.

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 I think this country — any civilized country — should have no tolerance for rape.

Ending sexual assault has been a priority for the administration. In 2014, the Obama White House has rolled out a series of initiatives aiming to end on campus sexual assault, an issue dear to the president’s heart.

“For anybody whose once-normal, everyday life was suddenly shattered by an act of sexual violence, the trauma, the terror can shadow you long after one horrible attack,” President Obama said during the rollout of the “It’s On Us” campaign. “It is on all of us to reject the quiet tolerance of sexual assault and to refuse to accept what’s unacceptable.”

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