Obama: No Way to Yank Cosby's Medal of Freedom
There's no process because it's never been done, says president
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 15, 2015 1:54 PM CDT
President Obama answers questions during a news conference in the East Room of the White House.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Newser) – President Obama doesn't sound like he's willing to try to revoke Bill Cosby's Medal of Freedom. When asked about it today at a news conference, Obama explained that there's no precedent for such a thing, reports NBC News. But while declining to address the specifics of Cosby's legal trouble, the president made clear where he stands on allegations of that nature. "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," said Obama. "And I think this country, any civilized country should have no tolerance for rape."

Cosby received the medal in 2002, and critics including Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Claire McCaskill think it should be returned, reports Politico. The Washington Post doesn't think that's likely, for the exact reason Obama specified. "Revoking the award isn't a simple matter of presidential decree or congressional vote," writes Hunter Schwarz. "In fact, we don't actually know how the medal would be revoked because it's never happened before."