White House labels Trump comments 'sexual assault'
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The White House on Monday condemned leaked Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Memo: Ayers decision casts harsh light on Trump NASA offers to show Stephen Curry evidence from moon landings Freedom Caucus calls on leadership to include wall funding, end to 'catch and release' in funding bill MORE comments about women, saying they amount to sexual assault.

“The president found the tapes as repugnant as most Americans did,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One.

“And I think there has been a pretty clear statement by people all along the ideological spectrum that those statements constituted sexual assault.”


Earnest’s comments are one of the toughest White House criticisms yet of the Republican presidential nominee's 11-year-old comments, which have rocked his presidential campaign.

President Obama during a political event on Sunday in Illinois slammed Trump’s statement about women as “demeaning." But he did not describe it as sexual assault.

"Demeaning, degrading women, but also minorities, immigrants, people of other faiths, mocking the disabled, insulting our troops, insulting our veterans,” Obama said.

“That tells you a couple things," he added. "It tells you he is insecure enough that he pumps himself up by putting other people down.”

The Obama spokesman’s comments on Tuesday echo Vice President Biden, who on Saturday described Trump’s statement as sexual assault.

In a video that surfaced late Friday, Trump was heard boasting about forcibly kissing women and groping their genitals to former “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush.

“When you're a star they let you do it. You can do anything," Trump says. "Grab them by the p---y."

Trump has apologized for his comments but has dismissed them as a media-driven distraction from his campaign.