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

Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsWant to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump Democrat stalls Biden's border nominee Garland strikes down Trump-era immigration court rule, empowering judges to pause cases 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 LeahyDemocrats ramp up pressure for infrastructure deal amid time crunch Overnight Defense: Senators reach billion deal on emergency Capitol security bill | House panel looks to help military sexual assault survivors | US increases airstrikes to help Afghan forces fight Taliban On The Money: Schumer, Warren call on Biden to extend student loan pause | IMF estimates 6 percent global growth this year MORE (D-Vt.) about such a situation. 

During his confirmation hearing to serve as President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpFormer New York state Senate candidate charged in riot Trump called acting attorney general almost daily to push election voter fraud claim: report GOP senator clashes with radio caller who wants identity of cop who shot Babbitt MORE’s attorney general, Sessions said a president would be subject to the same lawful restrictions as anyone else. 

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“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.