Skip to main site content.

Off script

President Obama weighs in on rape when asked about Bill Cosby

By WITW Staff on July 16, 2015

During a press conference on Wednesday, President Obama — while cautious not to impugn Bill Cosby directly — made it clear that he considers the actions that Cosby has been accused of multiple times to be “rape.” Obama said that the country should have no tolerance for such actions. When asked whether he would revoke the Presidential Medal of Freedom given to Bill Cosby by President George W. Bush in 2002, Obama replied that there is no precedent for revoking a medal, so “we don’t have that mechanism.” After cautioning that he made it a policy not to comment on cases with legal pending action, the president paused and went off script for a brief moment. “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 this country, any civilized country, should have no tolerance for rape.” Obama’s remarks come days after an old legal deposition was made public, in which Cosby admitted to obtaining Qualuudes and giving them to at least one woman before having sex with her. While he suggested that the women consented to the drugs and sex, some of his accusers see the deposition as a vindication of their claims.

Read the full story at The New York Times.