- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Sen. Jeff Sessions clarified his thoughts about what constitutes “sexual assault” after The Weekly Standard reported Monday that he called it a “stretch” to classify the behavior described in a leaked 2005 recording of Donald Trump as such.

In an interview following Sunday night’s presidential debate, The Weekly Standard asked Mr. Sessions about the recording leaked Friday, in which Mr. Trump is heard having a private conversation with Billy Bush, ex-host of “Access Hollywood,” about using his fame to get away with groping women.

“And when you’re a star, they let you do it,” Mr. Trump says in the recording. “Grab them by the p–y. You can do anything.”

Mr. Sessions said Mr. Trump used “very improper language” but the behavior the business mogul described should not be characterized as sexual assault.

“I think that’s a stretch. I don’t know what he meant,” Mr. Sessions said.

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

“I don’t know. It’s not clear that he — how that would occur,” Mr. Sessions responded.

On Monday night, Mr. Sessions told AL.com that The Weekly Standard’s characterization of his comments were “completely inaccurate.”

“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,” he said in a statement. “I regret that it resulted in an inaccurate article that misrepresented my views.

“Of course it is crystal clear that assault is unacceptable. I would never intentionally suggest otherwise,” he said.

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