Sessions: Grabbing a woman's genitals without consent is sexual assault

Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump indicates he's leaning against Mueller sit-down Trump rattled by White House counsel's cooperation with Mueller: report Falwell Jr. killed student newspaper articles critical of Trump: report MORE (R-Ala.) said Tuesday that he would consider grabbing a woman by her genitals without her consent as sexual assault.

“Clearly it would be,” Sessions said, when asked by Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyThis week: Senate tries to avoid landmines on massive spending bill Dems to challenge Kavanaugh for White House records Democrats question if Kavanaugh lied about work on terrorism policy MORE (D-Vt.) about such a situation. 

During his confirmation hearing to serve as President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump threatens ex-intel official's clearance, citing comments on CNN Protesters topple Confederate monument on UNC campus Man wanted for threatening to shoot Trump spotted in Maryland MORE’s attorney general, Sessions said a president would be subject to the same lawful restrictions as anyone else. 

“The president is subject to certain lawful restrictions and they would be required to be applied by the appropriate law enforcement official if appropriate, yes,” Sessions said, but he claimed he did not know whether Trump's remarks constituted an unwanted action.

Leahy’s question stems from the 2005 Access Hollywood tape that featured Trump making lewd comments about women. At the time the tapes were leaked in October, Sessions was asked if the actions Trump described on the tape would be considered sexual assault.

He told the Weekly Standard then: “I don't characterize that as sexual assault. I think that's a stretch.”

But when Leahy asked his question a second time during the confirmation hearing, Sessions again answered, “Yes.”

"My question is very simple. Is grabbing a woman by the genitals without her consent, is that sexual assault?" Leahy asked.

“Yes," Sessions responded.