Of course it is crystal clear that assault is unacceptable

Back in October Jeff Sessions – former prosecutor Jeff Sessions – was very cautious about what you could call sexual assault.

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), a top Donald Trump surrogate, said on Sunday that even if the GOP nominee actually grabbed a woman “by the pussy,” as he bragged about in a leaked tape from 2005, that behavior would not amount to sexual assault.

“I don’t characterize that as sexual assault,” Sessions told The Weekly Standard in the spin room after Sunday night’s presidential debate. “I think that’s a stretch. I don’t know what he meant.”

“So if you grab a woman by the genitals, that’s not sexual assault?” the reporter asked Sessions.

“I don’t know,” the senator replied. “It’s not clear that he — how that would occur.”

Oh really? I know how that would occur. I bet it’s pretty hard to find a woman who doesn’t know how that would occur. There are many ways, actually. Public transport is an outstanding convenience for men who like to grab women by the pussy. How that would occur is just that a man would stick out his hand and thrust it between a woman’s legs and then grip. If he had enough time he could do more than grab and grip. It’s not terribly difficult to extrapolate from that description to other settings – walking down the street; in the supermarket; at a party; in an elevator; at a movie…you get the idea.

Is that sexual assault? Yes, of course it is. It’s not a “stretch” to say that it is. It’s not rape, it’s not penetration (unless it is, and sometimes it is), but it is assault.

Sexual assault is defined as any kind of unwanted sexual contact, which is exactly what Trump described in the recording. In a conversation with Billy Bush, then host of “Access Hollywood,” Trump boasted about how he could kiss and grope women without their consent because he was a celebrity.

“I just start kissing them,” Trump said on the tape. “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.”

Women reacted strongly to Trump’s comments, sharing thousands of their own stories of sexual assault on Twitter to underscore that what he said epitomizes rape culture in America.

And he won anyway. Would you believe it? He won anyway.

But then, a surprise ending – Sessions took it back.

UPDATE: Oct. 11 ― Sessions said on Tuesday that “assault is unacceptable,” and argued that his remarks had been mischaracterized.

“The Weekly Standard’s characterization of comments I made following Sunday’s Presidential debate is completely inaccurate,” the senator said in a statement provided to HuffPost. “My hesitation was based solely on confusion of the contents of the 2005 tape and the hypothetical posed by the reporter, which was asked in a chaotic post-debate environment.”

“I regret that it resulted in an inaccurate article that misrepresented my views,” Sessions’ statement continued. “Of course it is crystal clear that assault is unacceptable. I would never intentionally suggest otherwise‎.”

So he’s happily joining the administration of a man who brags about committing sexual assault.

What a shit hole this country has suddenly become.

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