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Former Aide Hope Hicks Gets Emotional During Trump Trial Testimony

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During former US President Donald Trump‘s hush-money trial, former White House aide Hope Hicks grew emotional towards the conclusion of her testimony on Friday afternoon.

Having served as Mr. Trump’s campaign spokesperson in 2016 and being a close confidante, Ms. Hicks’s testimony centered on her experiences working with the former president.

Mr. Trump, who pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records to conceal payments, consistently denied any wrongdoing.

Ms. Hicks, who held roles as the Trump campaign’s press secretary and White House communications director, expressed nervousness upon taking the stand in the New York courtroom.

At one point, she became emotional when asked about a White House position created for her, stepping out briefly before returning to continue her testimony.

Discussing pivotal moments, Ms. Hicks recounted her reaction to learning about the Access Hollywood tape in 2005, which resurfaced just weeks before the 2016 presidential election.

She testified about her response to a Washington Post reporter’s email regarding the tape, where she forwarded it to key campaign staffers and emphasized the strategy to “deny, deny, deny.”

During a meeting with campaign aides, the tape was shared with Mr. Trump, who, according to Ms. Hicks, viewed it as typical banter between men.

Additionally, Ms. Hicks detailed Trump’s concerns over a Wall Street Journal story alleging affairs with Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels, particularly fearing its impact on his wife.

Her testimony also delved into her exchanges with Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, regarding media coverage of the allegations.

Despite testifying about potentially damaging incidents, Ms. Hicks maintained a positive tone towards Trump while offering critical remarks about Cohen’s behavior.

She also recalled interactions between Trump and former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker, highlighting Trump’s enthusiastic response to favorable coverage.

Regarding a 2015 meeting between Trump, Cohen, and Pecker, where Pecker agreed to suppress negative stories about Trump, Ms. Hicks stated she did not recall attending.

In a separate development, the court fined Trump $9,000 for violating a gag order during the trial, with the fine being paid via cashier’s checks to the court clerk.

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