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Da Vinci sells for record $450 million, and it might not be authentic

Bidding representatives react after Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi" sold for $400 million at Christie's. Photo: Julie Jacobson / AP

Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi," a painting thought to have been lost in the 1600s, smashed a world auction record by selling for $450,312,500 at Christie's, the auction house. That's all the more remarkable, because there has been speculation the painting may not actually be a Leonardo.

  • The NY Times sets the scene: "19 minutes of dueling, with four bidders on the telephone and one in the room... There were gasps throughout the sale, as the bids climbed by 10's up to $225 million, then by 5's up to $260 million, then by 2's."
  • Leonardo specialist Jacques Franck to the NYT: "The composition doesn't come from Leonardo. He preferred twisted movement. It's a good studio work with a little Leonardo at best, and it's very damaged."
  • Vulture's Jerry Saltz sums up the argument that it's "no Leonardo:" It's "absolutely dead," with a "varnished" and "repainted" surface. Saltz argues that there are only 15-20 existing paintings from da Vinci, and "not a single one of them pictures a person straight on like this one," among other points.
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Source: McCabe gave interview, memos to Mueller

Special counsel Robert Mueller
Mueller after briefing members of Congress on Capitol Hill last year. Photo: Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty Images

Andrew McCabe, the former FBI deputy director who was fired Friday night, has met with special counsel Robert Mueller's team and has turned over memos detailing interactions with President Trump, according to a source familiar with the exchange.

  • McCabe's interview with Mueller's prosecutors apparently included what he knows about former FBI director James Comey's firing.

The bottom line: The memos include corroboration by McCabe of Comey's account of his own firing by Trump, according to the source.

Khorri Atkinson 18 hours ago
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Comey to Trump: America "will hear my story very soon"

Trump shakes hands with Comey at the White House last year. Photo: Andrew Harrer-Pool / Getty Images

Former FBI Director James Comey tweeted a pointed message to President Trump this afternoon after the firing of former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe:

Between the lines: Comey's book comes out April 17.