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Hush Money Trial: Former Trump Aide Breaks Down During Testimony

Hope Hicks, the chief aide during Trump’s 2016 campaign went on the witness stand today.

And she spills the beans about these payments to an adult film star.

The drama doesn’t stop there. Hicks opens up about her frantic damage control in the lead-up to Election Day, working behind the scenes.

It’s like she’s trying to hold it all together while chaos is swirling around.

It was a bit too much and had an emotional moment and breaks down.

Man, talk about high stakes and high emotions in that Manhattan courtroom.

In doing research for this story I came across numerous posts from Democrats that made me hate them even more.

The hard-heartedness and callousness of these people (or maybe bots) seems to have no end.

But I digress.

Independent reports:

A chief aide who gave voice to Donald Trump’s chaotic 2016 campaign for the presidency broke down in tears on the witness stand in his hush money trial, moments after she testified about payments to an adult film star whose allegations threatened to derail his campaign.

The emotional moment from Hope Hicks inside a Manhattan criminal court on Friday followed revealing testimony about her damage control in the weeks before Election Day, and her behind-the-scenes public relations efforts to salvage Mr Trump’s campaign while stories about his alleged affairs and vulgar comments about women were piling up.

Ms Hicks – the first major figure within Mr Trump’s orbit to testify in the trial, which concluded its second week of testimony on Friday – turned her face away from the court and dabbed her eyes with a tissue as she began to cry. Microphones on the witness stand picked up the sounds of quiet sobs.

Moments earlier, she said that Mr Trump had told her that his former attorney Michael Cohen “felt like it was his job to protect him.”

Cohen wired Stormy Daniels $130,000 weeks before Election Day in 2016, and a series of reimbursement payments from Mr Trump in the months that followed are now at the center of a criminal case against the former president.

Mr Trump is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records for allegedly covering up those payments as “legal expenses” in an effort to boost his chances of winning the election. He has denied the affairs and pleaded not guilty.

“He did it in the kindness of his own heart and he didn’t tell anyone about it,” she said, recalling what Mr Trump told her in 2018 about Cohen’s payments.

Asked by the prosecution whether she believed that Mr Trump’s description of Cohen was consistent with what she knew about him, she said: “I’d say that would be out of character for Michael.”

“I didn’t know Michael to be an especially charitable person, or a selfless person,” she said. “The kind of person who seeks credit.”

Defense attorney Emil Bove was only moments into a benign series of questions about her work history before she broke down. New York Justice Juan Merchan asked if she needed a break.

“Yes, please,” she said.

Mr Bove’s line of questions stood in stark contrast to his rapid-fire and often aggressive approach to other prosecution witnesses.

To Ms Hicks, he spoke slowly, with a low and soft voice, attempting to pull out of her a sense that things in Mr Trump’s business and campaign were stable, that damage control over destructive stories are part of the job, and that Mr Trump ultimately cared about his family – an echo of the portrait of the former president as a consummate family man introduced in opening statements.

Ms Hicks also changed up how she spoke about him: “President Trump.”

Ms Hicks, who has not spoken to Mr Trump since 2022, was a former communications director of the Trump Organization who went on to work for his campaign and then the White House.

She left the administration in 2018 and returned in 2020.

Days before a presidential debate, and less than one month before Election Day in 2016, a recording of Mr Trump bragging about grabbing women’s genitals sent shockwaves through his campaign, according to testimony from Ms Hicks.

She said that the release of the Access Hollywood tape was a “damaging development” that threatened to derail the campaign in a busy and critical period before the election.

She was “stunned,” she said from the witness stand on Friday.

“It’s hard to describe,” Ms Hicks said. “It was definitely concerning. And I had a good sense that this was going to be a massive story and sort of dominate the news cycle for the next several days, at least … It was a damaging development.”

The story was “kind of pulling us backwards, and it was going to be difficult to overcome,” she said.


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