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White House Doesn’t Know if It Can Revoke Bill Cosby’s Presidential Medal of Freedom

Entertainment

“I don’t know whether or not it’s legally possible to do so.”

Bill Cosby delivers a speech in 2009. (AP Photo/David Kohl)

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said he doesn't know if it's possible to revoke Bill Cosby's Presidential Medal of Freedom amid the latest round of disturbing revelations about the disgraced comedian.

The Associated Press reported this week that Cosby � among the most popular entertainers over the last several decades � testified in 2005 that he procured Quaaludes with the intent of giving them to young women he wanted to have sex with.

The group Promoting Awareness -Victim Empowerment, or PAVE, posted a petition on WhiteHouse.gov calling for the medal that President George W. Bush awarded Cosby in 2002 be revoked. The petition must gain 100,000 signatures before gaining a response.

�I haven�t at this point heard any discussion of taking that step, but I can tell you as a general matter, this administration has been focused in countering sexual assault and doing so in a variety of settings,� Earnest told reporters Wednesday.

Entertainer Bill Cosby meets with athletes during the Penn Relays athletics meet, Friday, April 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Earnest reiterated the actions the administration has taken to combat rape in the military and on college campuses.

�I don�t know whether or not it�s legally possible to do so,� Earnest said when asked about the possibility of revoking Cosby�s medal.

The PAVE petition states: �Cosby admitted to procuring drugs to have sex with women without their consent. He has been accused of serial rape by dozens of others. We cannot yet give his accusers their day in court, but we can fight back in the court of public opinion.�

It continues, �We urge the administration to take the unprecedented action of revoking this award.�

Earnest said the last time President Barack Obama spoke about the Cosby matter was in an interview with Univision in December. He said he hasn�t spoken with the president about it since that time.

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