President Barack Obama addressed the Bill Cosby rape scandal on Wednesday during a press conference.

President Obama Won’t Revoke Bill Cosby’s Medal of Freedom

Obama was giving a press conference on Wednesday on the Iranian nuclear deal when he was asked about the almost 50 public allegations of rape made against Cosby this year. The question, posed by American Urban Radio Networks White House correspondent April Ryan, specifically asked the President whether he would consider revoking Cosby’s Medal of Freedom. The question was inspired by a recently launched White House petition asking Obama to revoke Cosby’s Medal of Freedom, which has over 13,000 signatures.

“With respect to the Medal of Freedom, there’s no precedent for revoking a medal. We don’t have that mechanism. As you know, I make it a policy not to comment on the specifics of cases where there still might me, if not criminal, then civil issues involved,” Obama stated.

While Obama refrained from commenting directly on Cosby’s Medal of Freedom, he expressed that the United States should have zero tolerance for rape.

“I’ll say this: if you give a woman, or a man, for that matter, without his or her knowledge, a drug, and then have sex with that person without consent, that’s rape. And I think this country, or any civilized country, should have no tolerance for rape,” he added.

Many have taken Cosby’s statements as a condemnation of the comedian, who admitted in court to buying drugs with the purpose of giving them to women for sex.

It’s unclear whether or not President Obama has the authority to revoke Cosby’s Medal of Freedom. PAVE, the organization behind the White House petition suggested that he could revoke the Medal with an Executive Order or a personal request that Cosby return his Medal of Freedom of his own free will.

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