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Actress Asia Argento denies sexually assaulting young actor — and says Anthony Bourdain paid him off

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On Tuesday, actress and director Asia Argento issued a statement categorically denying all accusations that she had sexually assaulted actor Jimmy Bennett. The alleged assault occurred when Argento was 37 and the actor was 17, below the legal age of consent in California.

“I am deeply shocked and hurt by having read news that is absolutely false,” she wrote. “I have never had any sexual relationship with Bennett.”

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Argento goes on to claim that the payment of $380,000 she made to Bennett, in exchange for a photo that allegedly shows them in bed, was meant to help the economically struggling actor.

Argento also said her boyfriend, Anthony Bourdain, had insisted on paying Bennett to prevent “further intrusions” into their lives.

As TMZ reports, the payment was made in exchange for a photo showing Bennett and Argento in bed together. TMZ notes that the photo is not necessarily of a sexual nature, but could be interpreted as post-coital.

Argento has been an outspoken representative of the #metoo movement and was one of the first women to come forward against Harvey Weinstein.

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Trump refusing to pay for New Mexico security and barricades — while trying to change the state from blue to red

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President Donald Trump thinks he will win New Mexico. He's repeated the factoid multiple times, including to a group of oil and gas workers and executives Wednesday at a conference in Pittsburgh, PA. But he also made two significant mistakes to put that support in jeopardy.

First, the president indicated he was building his "wall" on the border of Colorado, which is north of New Mexico. It would mean that New Mexico was now part of Mexico.

Second, it was reported by the Albuquerque Journal that their city is yet another one Trump's campaign is refusing to pay for security costs.

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Intel Committee has ‘recent evidence’ Ukraine witnesses are working together to ‘coordinate’ their stories

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House investigators have "recent evidence" of witnesses working to coordinate their testimony before Congress, a Democratic congressman revealed on MSNBC on Wednesday.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), who sits on the Intelligence and Judicial committees, was interviewed by MSNBC Chris Hayes.

"Final question, what is the timeline here?" Hayes asked. "There is some transparency argument that at some point this can’t be behind closed doors, the American people, all of us, Republicans, Democrats, citizens and journalists have to hear what’s happening."

"You’re absolutely right and there will be a public phase," Swalwell replied.

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Rudy Giuliani is looking for a lawyer — after saying he didn’t need one: report

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On Wednesday, CNN reported that President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani is looking for a defense attorney to represent him.

This report comes after Giuliani said last week that he would not seek legal representation unless he believed he needed it.

Giuliani is currently under criminal investigation for the scheme he apparently helped facilitate in the Ukraine, where Trump withheld military aid in the fight against Russia while demanding their leaders investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee.

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