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Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

A staffer who worked on President Trump's campaign has filed a lawsuit claiming he kissed her without consent before a rally in Florida in August 2016, an allegation denied by the White House and the two identified witnesses, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: This is the first allegation of sexual misconduct against Trump since becoming president.

  • He has previously faced multiple misconduct allegations — all of which he has denied — from his time as a businessman and host of NBC's "The Apprentice," which culminated in the release of the "Access Hollywood" tape during the campaign in which Trump said, "Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it."

Details: Alva Johnson claims in the lawsuit she filed against Trump and his campaign that she "continues to suffer emotional distress" due to her interaction with the president and seeks an order barring Trump from unwanted contact with women.

  • Johnson, who is African-American, also alleges that the campaign underpaid her due to her race.

Excerpt from Johnson's lawsuit:

"To Defendant Trump, however, Ms. Johnson was nothing more than a sexual object he felt entitled to dominate and humiliate. Like he has done with so many other women, Defendant Trump violated norms of decency and privacy by kissing Ms. Johnson on the lips without her consent in the middle of a Florida work event and in front of numerous other Campaign officials."

The denials from both the White House and the alleged witnesses:

  • White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told the Post the allegation was "absurd on its face," adding, "This never happened and is directly contradicted by multiple highly credible eye witness accounts."
  • Then-Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, one of the alleged witnesses, told the Post, "Do I recall seeing anything inappropriate? One hundred percent no. I’m a prosecutor, and if I saw something inappropriate, I would have said something."
  • The other witness, Karen Giorno, director of Trump's Florida campaign, told the Post "that absolutely did not happen."

Go deeper ... #MeToo's 2018: Congress, Church and Silicon Valley

Go deeper

Updated 29 mins ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.