Speed Reads

glad that's settled

Sessions, in reversal, says 'clearly it would be' sexual assault to grab a woman without her consent

President-elect Donald Trump's comments in a leaked tape from an Access Hollywood appearance in 2005, in which he bragged about grabbing women by the genitals, resurfaced Tuesday during Sen. Jeff Sessions' (R-Ala.) confirmation hearing for attorney general. "My question is very simple," Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said. "Is grabbing a woman by the genitals without her consent sexual assault?" "Clearly, it would be," Sessions answered.

Sessions' unequivocal response marked a departure from his initial hesitation after the tape's release to classify the behavior Trump talked about as "sexual assault." "I think that's a stretch," Sessions said when asked about the comments by The Weekly Standard in October.

"So if you grab a woman by the genitals, that's not sexual assault?" The Weekly Standard pushed. "I don't know," Sessions said. "It's not clear that he — how that would occur."