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Donald Trump‘s former communications aide Hope Hicks took the stand in a blockbuster moment in the hush money trial.

Hicks was Trump’s press secretary during the campaign, and has knowledge of what was happening in the final weeks before the 2016 election.

During that time, the deal with Stormy Daniels was negotiated.  

Follow the coverage live from DailyMail.com’s reporters in the courtroom 

Hope Hicks testimony ends

Former top aide Hope Hicks has wrapped up her testimony in the Trump hush money case.

(FILES) White House Communications Director Hope Hicks watches as US President Donald Trump takes part in a "listening session" on gun violence with teachers and students in the State Dining Room of the White House on February 21, 2018. Hicks, Trump's former campaign press secretary, became the first former member of Donald Trump's inner circle to take the witness stand in his historic criminal trial on May 3, 2024. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Hicks testifies how she believes Trump didn’t want anyone in his family hurt

From Rob Crilly, Senior Political Reporter inside court

Defense is now getting to the meat of one of its key points: That if there was any money paid to silence people it was not to manipulate the election, it was to protect Trump’s wife and family.

Hicks is being asked about how heavily all of this was weighing on Trump and his home life, and how he respected and valued the feelings about his wife.

‘Absolutely I don’t think he wanted anyone in his family to be hurt or embarrassed by anything that was happening on the campaign. He wanted them to be proud of him,’ Hicks says.

Hicks talks about Cohen ‘inserting himself’ and going ‘rogue’ during 2016 campaign

Hope Hicks testifies that former Trump fixer Michael Coehn tried to ‘insert himself’ in the 2016 campaign.

She said he was not supposed to be on ampaign in any official capacity.

Hicks testifies that Cohen was not looped in on day-to-day campaign strategy, adding that he would go ‘rogue’ and take actions not authorized by Trump’s team.

‘He liked to call himself a fixer, or Mr. Fix It,’ she says. ‘It as only because he borke it that he was able to then fix it.’

What led up to Hope Hicks breaking down in tears on the stand

Before breaking down in tears, Hope Hicks had been giving damning testimony against her former boss Donald Trump.

The court was hearing that in March 2018, McDougal sued American Media Inc. to release her from her non-disclosure agreement.

That same day, Madeleine Westerhout texted Hicks ‘Hey the president wants to know if you called David Pecker again.’

Two months earlier, the Stormy Daniels affair also resurfaced.

‘Someone, myself or another press communications team member, got an inquiry from the Wall Street Journal, describing a story they planned to publish, Stormy Daniels who was a footnote in the previous story, had in fact received a payment of $130,000,’ Hicks told the jury.

Hicks said she spoke to Cohen who told her it was untrue and that no payment was ever made.

She also spoke to Trump and they discussed ‘how to respond’ to the story.

Hicks told the jury she spoke to Trump after Cohen admitted to the New York Times he had in fact paid Daniels.

According to Hicks, Cohen said he did it to ‘protect him (Trump), he did it out of the kindness of his heart.’

Prosecutor Matthew Colangelo asked what Hicks thought at the idea that Cohen did it out of the kindness of his heart.

She said that was out of character for Cohen and she didn’t believe Cohen to be an especially charitable or selfless person.

Hicks recalled Trump telling her it was better to deal with it then and that it would have been bad to have the Stormy Daniels story come out before the election.

She then started to cry as cross-examination began.

Hicks breaks down in tears and tells jury ‘I’m sorry’

As the direct examination ends and the cross-examination is about to begin, Hicks looks spent.

Emil Bove begins to ask a question about her biographical details but Hicks is unable to answer.

She asks for a moment and bends away from the microphone, her hair hanging across one side of her face.

Judge Juan Merchan asks if she would like a break. ‘I’m sorry,’ she says.

As the jury leaves she gives a sob. It has clearly been an ordeal, even though her answers were clear and composed, and showed a remarkable recall of detail.

Hope Hicks says Trump’s team was hoping to ‘blow past’ controversy in 2016

Hope Hicks told the court that Trump’s campaign was hoping to ‘blow past’ the controversy over the 2016 Wall Street Journal article and keep going.

There was a lot going on, and you know, it wasn’t like this story was consuming the news cycle and I needed to be aware of every little detail. I was kind of just hoping at this point we were going to just blow past it and keep going.

She also said that ‘everything’ discussed at the time was discussed in the context of how it would impact the campaign.

Former US President Donald Trump returns to the courtroom following a break in his trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments linked to extramarital affairs, at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City, on May 3, 2024. Trump, 77, is accused of falsifying business records to reimburse his lawyer, Michael Cohen, for a $130,000 hush money payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels just days ahead of the 2016 election against Hillary Clinton. (Photo by Charly TRIBALLEAU / POOL / AFP) (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Hope Hicks: Trump was concerned Melania would see article about the ‘hush money’ deal

A long exchange with Hicks being asked about how she tried to manage the Trump campaign response to the ‘hush money’ story breaking.

Trump told her he was concerned about his wife Melania finding out and told her to make ‘sure that the newspapers weren’t delivered to their residence that morning’

Hope Hicks retakes the stand to testify

The prosecution has resumed questioning former top Trump aide Hope Hicks.

Hicks did not look at Trump as she made her way past him to the witness box.

Hicks enters the court after lunch holding her fingers tightly together

Hicks entered the court after lunch holding her fingers tightly together.

She again appeared nervous and fiddled with her collar and had a sip of water.

Her and Trump both stared ahead, meaning they did not make eye contact.

Court sketches of Hope Hicks as she testifies

The second sketch shows the moment Hope Hicks sat in silence as the transcript of the Access Hollywood tape was read out in court.

7. COURT SKETCH SHOWING FORMER TRUMP AID HOPE HICKS ON THE STAND, WITH TRUMP AND MERCHAN WATCHING
7. COURT SKETCH SHOWING FORMER TRUMP AID HOPE HICKS ON THE STAND, WITH TRUMP AND MERCHAN WATCHING

Hope Hicks is set to return to the stand after lunch

Testimony from Hicks has so far focused on allegations against Donald Trump from women and how his campaign responded.

Before the court broke for lunch, she briefly detailed when she first heard of Stormy Daniels.

As Trump’s press secretary in 2016, she was in his inner circle when the ‘hush money’ deal at the center of the trial was hashed out.

Text messages with Michael Cohen have already been shared with the court.

(FILES) Hope Hicks smiles at US President Donald Trump during a Make America Great Again rally at Dubuque Regional Airport on November 1, 2020, in Dubuque, Iowa. Hicks, Trump's former campaign press secretary, became the first former member of Donald Trump's inner circle to take the witness stand in his historic criminal trial on May 3, 2024. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Trying to ‘buy a little time’ with Rupert Murdoch and the Wall Street Journal

Hope Hicks revealed she forwarded an emailed inquiry from the Wall Street Journal about Trump’s alleged affair with ex-Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal to Jared Kushner, her son in law.

Hicks said that Kushner knew Murdoch, the owner of the Wall Street Journal, and that he might be able to ‘buy a little time’ before the story was published.

The story detailing the agreement with Pecker and AMI and McDougal was published by the Journal Nov 4, 2016, right before the presidential election.

Jury heads out for lunch after start of Hicks revealed when she first heard about Stormy Daniels

Hicks told the court she heard about Stormy Daniels only once before the Wall Street Journal article about Karen McDougal’s deal in November 2016.

Trump’s ‘security guys’, she says, mentioned that she was at golf tournament in Nevada where the former president played.

That 2006 event in Nevada is where Trump and Daniels had their alleged encounter.

Stormy Daniels with Donald Trump in 2006, at the time of the alleged affair.Watermark removed.Stephanie Clifford/AKA Stormy Daniels Donald Trumppicture: Stormy DanielsCOLLECT FROM MYSPACEUnwatermarked

Hicks reveals when she first heard about Playboy model Karen McDougal, who claims she had an affair with Trump

Hicks told the jury that she first heard the name Karen McDougal on November 4th 2016, when a Wall Street Journal reporter emailed her asking for comment.

The story they were planning to run was that the National Enquirer had bought McDougal’s story but not run it.

The Wall St Journal wanted a comment from Trump, including if he had indeed had a relationship with McDougal.

FILE PHOTO: White House adviser Hope Hicks waves near of U.S. President Donald Trump during a campaign rally at Ocala International Airport in Ocala, Florida, U.S., October 16, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo

Hicks recalls calling Michael Cohen to ‘chase down a rumor’ of another tape and it being ‘all Trump all the time’ for the 36 hours after tape

Hope Hicks recalls during her testimony that on October 8, 2016, the day the Access Hollywood tape came out, she called Michael Cohen to ‘chase down a rumor’ that there was another tape.

‘There was no such tape regardless, but he chased that down for me,’ she says.

The court heard that two days after the Access Hollywood tape came out, Trump took part in the second Presidential debate with Hillary Clinton.

In a bizarre twist, the jury is hearing about Anderson Cooper being one of the moderators of the debate while he is sitting and the audience listening to testimony in court.

Hicks recalls the tape being one of the first questions of the debate. She remembers Trump reiterating during the debate that it was locker room talk, words but not actions.

Hope Hicks remembers the media response to the tape being intense.

It dominated the coverage for the 36 hours leading up to the debate.

She recalled those 36 hours being ‘all Trump all the time.’

7. COURT SKETCH SHOWING FORMER TRUMP AID HOPE HICKS ON THE STAND, WITH TRUMP AND MERCHAN WATCHING
7. COURT SKETCH SHOWING FORMER TRUMP AID HOPE HICKS ON THE STAND, WITH TRUMP AND MERCHAN WATCHING

Trump smirks as Hope Hicks jabs Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney

From Rob Crilly, Senior Political Reporter inside court

Hope Hicks is asked about the response to the Access Hollywood tape from Republicans and mentions the usual suspects of then-Speaker Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee.

She describes them as people who always felt they needed to ‘weigh in.’

Trump smirks at that point, and wobbles his head one way and then the other.

Access Hollywood Tape Day: ‘URGENT WashPost query’

Prosecutors questioned Hope Hicks about the details behind the campaign response to the Washington Post story about the behind-the-scenes Access Hollywood tape.

Hicks was shown a copy of an email from reporter David Fahrenthold on October 7, 2016 featuring the inquiry from the Post giving the campaign a chance to respond.

Hicks said she was ‘concerned’ when she saw the details inquiry and forwarded the email to senior campaign officials Jason Miller, David Bossie, Kellyanne Conway, and Steve Bannon.

She said Trump was preparing for an upcoming presidential debate when the inquiry came but that the campaign soon realized they were facing a crisis.

The Post provided the campaign with a transcript of the audio featuring Trump speaking with NBC host Billy Bush on a bus about his attempts to move on women and have sex with them.

Hicks said that Trump said it did not appear to be something he would say.

She added she was ‘a little stunned’ by the inquiry.

‘It’s hard to describe but it was definitely concerning I had a good sense this was going to be a massive story,’ Hicks said.

The video was played again for the jury and Hicks was asked to read the campaign statment from Trump.

This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course – not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended.

Hicks: Trump deserves the credit for the campaign messages

During her testimony, Hope Hicks lavished praise on her hold boss as a savvy political operator.

She said he was responsible for the overall messaging strategy during the 2016 election campaign.

‘He knew what he wanted to say and how he wanted to say it. We were all just following his lead’, she told the court.

Hope Hicks details understanding of key figures in the trial

Prosecutors questioned Trump’s closest aide Hope Hicks about her understanding of the characters in the trial and their relationship with Donald Trump.

Hicks said she was ‘not specifically’ familiar with what Michael Cohen did, but said he was involved with license deals with hotel projects and entertainment projects.

Hicks described AMI publisher David Pecker and Trump as ‘friends’ and that they spoke about the presidential campaign from time to time. She said she was not present for a personal meeting with Pecker at Trump tower in August 2015.

She also said that ex-Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg handled personal financial disclosures about Trump and the campaign and was a ‘trusted person’ in Trump’s orbit.

Hope Hicks: Trump called Enquirer hit job on Ben Carson campaign ‘Pulitzer worthy’

Hope Hicks tells the trial the fake National Enquirer story about Ben Carson’s ‘medical malpractice’ was worthy of a Pulitzer Prize.

The communications aide was describing calls between Donald Trump and the magazine’s publisher David Pecker.

Hicks said Trump congratulated Pecker on the ‘great reporting’.

She also heard the former president praise Pecker for the story linking Ted Cruz’s father to Lee Harvey Oswald, the gunman who assassinated JFK.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump reacts as he stands next to former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks outside of the Oval Office as he departs the White House for a trip to Cleveland, Ohio, in Washington D.C., U.S., March 29, 2018. Picture taken March 29, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY/File Photo

She’s Donald Trump‘s glamorous former aide turned communications executive but DailyMail.com can reveal that Hope Hicks is soon to acquire a new title: that of Mrs.

The lucky man is none other than Goldman Sachs boss Jim Donovan, 57, whose secret romance with 35-year-old Hicks was revealed  by DailyMail.com in 2020.

On Friday morning, Trump watched intently as his former confidant Hicks was sworn in and took a seat, telling the courtroom, ‘I’m really nervous.’

Proceedings in the case, which is over payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels, are expected to continue for at least another month.

Hope Hicks testifies about becoming 2016 campaign press secretary

Hope Hicks shares that she became Trump’s campaign press secretary because there wasn’t any communications team at that point.

She says she thought Trump was joking when he said she’d be his campaign press secretary because she had no experience. But she was spending so much time on the campaign it eventually just became her job.

‘It was kind of a constant flow of incoming questions,’ Hicks recalls. ‘So I managed all those and tried to respond to everybody in a timely manner.’

Hicks said it was just her and Trump at the time who she decribed as ‘better than anybody a communications and branding.’

Hicks also recalls when she first began working on the campaign, saying Trump just told her one day that they were going to Iowa.

‘I didn’t really know why,’ Hicks says.

That was sometime in January 2015, she recalls.

Text messages swapped by two key Trump insiders reveal their panic as a newspaper closed in on a story about a Playboy model and her affair allegation just four days before the 2016 election.

Donald Trump‘s personal lawyer Michael Cohen repeatedly messaged Hope Hicks, press secretary to Donald Trump’s campaign, asking if there were any developments.

Eventually she responds with a link to the published story, headlined: ‘National Enquirer Shielded Donald Trump From Playboy Model’s Affair Allegation.’

Almost eight years later the fallout from that story reverberates around a Manhattan criminal court, where the former president is on trial accused of falsifying business records to hide a hush money payment to another woman.

But back then, the messages show Hicks and Cohen hoping that the story about 1998 Playmate of the Year Karen McDougal will just disappear. They know that buried deep in the piece is another thread for journalists to investigate: The name ‘Stormy Daniels.’

Hicks reveals she hasn’t spoken to Trump since the fall of 2022

Hicks told the court she is working as a communications consultant and has had little interaction with her former boss since she left the White House.

She explained how she got a job at Hiltzik Strategies after completing her English degree.

Then she met Ivanka Trump and started to help with public relations surrounding her personal brand.

‘I began to work with the Trump family…I was enjoying it so much I was offered a position at the Trump Organization and jumped at the opportunity to join the company full-time,’ Hicks says.

Hicks describes the Trump Organization despite being a large company being run like a ‘small family business’ in some ways.

She says that by 2015, she spoke with Trump every day including on the phone if they were not able to speak in person.

Hicks has avoided looking at Trump while speaking in court.

FILE - President Donald Trump poses for members of the media with then White House Communications Director Hope Hicks on her last day before he boards Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, March 29, 2018, in Washington. Hicks, Trump's former spokeswoman, met Monday, March 6, 2023, with Manhattan prosecutors investigating hush-money payments made on the ex-president's behalf â¿" the latest member of the Republican's inner circle to be questioned in the renewed probe. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
Alamy Live News. 2CYT521 Washington, United States. 02nd Oct, 2020. Presidential adviser Hope Hicks tested positive for coronavirus just hours before President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump announced that they have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) shortly after midnight on Friday, October 2, 2020. In this file photo, Hope Hicks is seen on Capitol Hill in 2019. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI Credit: UPI/Alamy Live News This is an Alamy Live News image and may not be part of your current Alamy deal . If you are unsure, please contact our sales team to check.

Trump watches closely as Hope Hicks testifies

Donald Trump is leaning back in chair and looking toward Hope Hicks as she begins to testify.

‘I’m really nervous’ Hope Hicks says taking witness stand

From Rob Crilly, Senior Political Reporter inside court

Hope Hicks glides into the witness box wearing a black trouser suit and blue blouse.

Trump watches intently as she is sworn in and takes her seat.

She gives a fragile smile and asks if she is near enough to the microphone.

‘I’m really nervous,’ she says.

Alamy Live News. 2CYT521 Washington, United States. 02nd Oct, 2020. Presidential adviser Hope Hicks tested positive for coronavirus just hours before President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump announced that they have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) shortly after midnight on Friday, October 2, 2020. In this file photo, Hope Hicks is seen on Capitol Hill in 2019. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI Credit: UPI/Alamy Live News This is an Alamy Live News image and may not be part of your current Alamy deal . If you are unsure, please contact our sales team to check.

Breaking:Hope Hicks called as next witness

Former Trump right-hand aide Hope Hicks to take the witness stand.

A gasp went around the public gallery as she was called up.

Hicks was a top aide of Trump during the 2016 campaign and then in the Trump White House including as communications director.

She also previously worked for the Trump Organization since 2014.

FILE - Hope Hicks, former White House Communications Director, arrives to meet with the House Intelligence Committee, at the Capitol in Washington, Feb. 27, 2018. Prosecutors say Hicks spoke with former President Donald Trump by phone during a frenzied effort to keep allegations of his marital infidelity out of the press after the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape leaked weeks before the 2016 election. In the tape, from 2005, Trump boasted about grabbing women without permission. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
FILE PHOTO: White House Communications Director Hope Hicks leaves the U.S. Capitol after attending the House Intelligence Committee closed door meeting in Washington, U.S., February 27, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo

In cross-examination, Longstreet pressed by defense attorney Todd Blanche over Michael Cohen’s podcasts

From Rob Crilly, Senior Political Reporter inside court

Longstreet is being cross examined by defense attorney Todd Blanche, and she is being quizzed on Michael Cohen’s podcasts, which the former Trump aide uses as a vehicle to attack his former boss.

Blanche asks: ‘Have you listened to all the Mea Culpa podcasts?’

‘Absolutely not,’ she replies emphatically, again drawing laughter from the public gallery.

‘Nobody has more respect for women than Me!’ Court hears Trump’s old videos and Twitter posts in response to Access Hollywood tape and affair allegations

From Rob Crilly, Senior Political Reporter inside court

The jury is being shown a video made by Trump and posted on Twitter in the wake of the Access Hollywood tape.

In it, he admits he is not a perfect man who has done things he regrets now. ‘I said it. I was wrong. I apologized,’ he says.

He goes on to describe how he has traveled the country as part of his campaign.

‘I pledge to be a better man tomorrow and will never ever let you down,’ he says.

Georgia Longstreet is testifying that it is one of the posts she dug out and saved.

We are getting a tour of Trump’s old Twitter posts.

Now it is one in response to allegations of affairs. ‘Nothing ever happened with any of these women.

‘Totally made up nonsense to steal the election.

Former President Donald Trump appears at Manhattan criminal court before his trial in New York, Friday,, May 3, 2024.(Charly Triballeau/Pool Photo via AP)

Longstreet reads it aloud.

The last line triggers laughter in the public gallery.

Trump gets animated over a Washington Post article referencing the Access Hollywood tape

Lead defense lawyer Tood Blanche was talking to Trump about a Washington Post article referring to the Access Hollywood tape, which prosecutors want to bring into evidence.

The former president was gesturing animatedly to a print out of the article.

Trump then spoke to another member of his legal team.

Rather than slouching in his chair Trump is standing up and swinging his body side to side.

Former President Donald Trump appears at Manhattan criminal court before his trial in New York, Friday, May 3, 2024.  (Curtis Means/Pool Photo via AP)

Court takes morning recess

Court is taking a short break.

The jury has been excussed.

Next witness takes the stand: Georgia Longstreet, a Manhattan DA’s office paralegal who reviewed 10,000 social media posts

From Rob Crilly, Senior Political Reporter inside court

The next witness is Georgia Longstreet.

Officially her post is paralegal with the New York City District Attorney’s office.

Unofficially she may have the worst job in the world.

It was her job to review and save news articles and social media posts that might be relevant to the case.

Think old Twitter posts and newer Truth Social posts written by Trump or his team, bad jokes, invective and bile.

She says she has reviewed anything up to 10,000 posts, saving 1,500 of them that might be needed in the case.

Trump’s aide Margo Martin joins him in court

Margo Martin is back in court with Former President Donald Trump for the eleventh day of his hush money trial.

The communications aide has been a key part of his support group since jury selection began three weeks ago.

Last week she was off, but since Monday she has appeared every day.

Former President Donald J Trump speaks to reporters in Manhattan Supreme Court  on May 3 2024. Pictured : Margo Martin  Curtis Means for DailyMail.com/Pool
Former President Donald J Trump speaks to reporters in Manhattan Supreme Court  on May 3 2024. Pictured : Margo Martin  Curtis Means for DailyMail.com/Pool

Forensic expert: Michael Cohen tried to secure and delete conversations with messaging apps

Trump attorney Emil Bove is asking the forensic expert Douglas Daus about two cell phones used by Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen.

Daus revealed that Cohen used two messaging apps Signal and Telegram that were used to encrypt or delete messages. He also used to the messaging app Dust, which had similar features.

He confirmed that Cohen had a ‘self destruct timer’ in the Telegram messaging app to delete messages after seven seconds.

Bove successfully raises awareness that Cohen was covering his tracks digitally after Trump was elected president and that some of the messages would be difficult if not impossible to recover.

Trump’s lawyer invokes Harvey Weinstein to get evidence tossed

Trump’s lawyer Todd Blanche objected to evidence prosecutors were seeking to bring in during the day’s testimony.

The evidence included two posts online by Trump, a Tweet by the Washington Post and a news article by the same newspaper.

Blanche said there were ‘hearsay problems’ with the evidence and cautioned Judge Merchan about introducing it ‘in light of the Weinstein decision.’

The judge checked if this was a reference to the New York appeal court’s decision last month to overturn former film producer Harvey Weinstein’s 2020 rape conviction.

The suggestion appeared to imply that the evidence at issue could be problematic. Weinstein’s conviction was overturned because three additional ‘prior bad acts’ witnesses were allowed into the case.

‘I don’t see it as having any impact on my ruling,’ Judge Merchan responded.

Blanche protested that the material was ‘extremely unfair and prejudicial,’ but Judge Merchan said that the Weinstein decision ‘doesn’t really factor into this’

TOPSHOT - Former film producer Harvey Weinstein arrives at at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York on May 1, 2024, for a preliminary hearing after his rape conviction was overturned. New York's highest court on April 25, 2024, overturned Weinstein's 2020 conviction on sex crime charges. (Photo by Steven Hirsch / POOL / AFP) (Photo by STEVEN HIRSCH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Blanche also objected to prosecutors using a post online from Trump in August 2022 in which he wrote: ‘If you go after me I’m coming after you.’

According to Blanche, this had ‘nothing to do’ with this case and was about an effort by the Republican party to stop him becoming its Presidential nominee.

Judge Merchan said he would decide later.

The judge also refused to allow into evidence a video still of Trump from the Access Hollywood tape. He previously barred the video from being used.

Donald Trump berates Judge Juan Merchan on social media after he warned Trump to ‘steer clear’ on Truth Social

President Donald Trump kicked off Day 11 of his New York trial by berating Judge Juan Merchan on social media as ‘corrupt.’

This Corrupt and HIGHLY Conflicted New York Judge, Juan Merchan, is doing everything in his power to make this trial as salacious as possible, even though these things have NOTHING to do with this FAKE case. He gives us nothing, gives the everything to the Crooked D.A., Alvin Bragg. ELECTION INTERFERENCE – BIDEN WITCH HUNT TRIAL!!!

Trump’s post about the trial took place after the judge warned him Thursday about violating the court ordered gag order with posts on social media.

‘If in doubt, steer clear,’ Merchan said. ‘There is no ambiguity, I believe, in the order.’

Trump’s statement on social media about the judge goes right up to the line of the gag order, but does not cross it.

The gag order prevents Trump from making public statements about witnesses, jurors and employees connected to the case, but does not apply to the judge or Manhattan District Alvin Bragg.

Judge Merchan reassures Trump he could say anything he wants while testifying

Donald Trump’s day in criminal court began with Judge Juan Merchan addressing the ex-president directly where he said he wants to clear up any ‘misunderstanding’ regarding the gag order.

Judge Merchan said Trump had an ‘absolute right’ to testify at trial and an ‘absolute right’ not to.

The gag order bars the ex-president from commenting on the jury, witnesses and court staff. It does not apply to Trump testifying or commenting on the judge.

Judge Merchan told Trump that testifying was his ‘constitutional right’ and one that ‘you haven’t been denied in any way.’

The gag order does not stop Trump ‘testifying in any way’, the court heard.

Judge Merchan said the gag order ‘does not prohibit you from taking the stand and does not minimize what you can say from the witness stand.’

The order only applies to extrajudicial statements Trump makes, meaning those outside the court, the judge said.

Judge Merchan told Trump that if he had any ‘lingering doubts’ he should speak to his lawyers.

Trump nodded his head in apparent agreement.

epa11316290 Former US President Donald Trump sits in the courtroom during his hush money trial at Manhattan criminal court in New York, USA, 03 May 2024. Trump faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records as part of an alleged scheme to silence claims of extramarital sexual encounters during his 2016 presidential campaign.  EPA/CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / POOL

Trump walks into court after speaking to the press outside

Trump walked into court wearing a navy blue suit and a light blue tie.

He quietly said ‘hello’ to Anderson Cooper, who was sitting by the aisle on the right side of the court.

Trump addresses ‘horrible’ job numbers after entering criminal court and claims there are 10 states he would rather be in

Donald Trump addressed the U.S. adding 175,000 jobs last month, a slowdown in hiring.

‘These people are destroying our country,’ Trump claimed.

‘They’re really, really low, really bad, our economy’s bad,’ Trump stated of the jobs numbers.

He claimed it would only get worse.

Despite Trump’s statement, economists have been expecting this slowdown for months even as hiring in February and March were hotter than expected.

The jobs number according to economists is not the sign of a bad economy as layoffs remain low.

The ex-president also complained that there are 10 states he would rather be in right now instead of criminal court.

He claimed he was supposed to be in Georgia today, Ohio tomorrow and then in Florida ‘doing – campaigning, essentially campaigning.’

In response to a question about what he would do to address jobs, Trump said ‘drill baby drill.’

Trump also was asked about testifying after claiming he was not allowed just yesterday.

‘No, it won’t stop me from testifying. The gag order is not for testifying,’ Trump said. The ex-president said the gag order prevents him from talking about people who say things about him, and he’s not allowed to respond.

Former US President Donald Trump speaks to the press as he arrives for his trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments linked to extramarital affairs, at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City, on May 3, 2024. Trump, 77, is accused of falsifying business records to reimburse his lawyer, Michael Cohen, for a $130,000 hush money payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels just days ahead of the 2016 election against Hillary Clinton. Charly Triballeau/Pool via REUTERS
Former US President Donald Trump, sitting with attorneys Emil Bove (L) and Todd Blanche (R), attends his trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments linked to extramarital affairs, at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City, on May 3, 2024. Trump, 77, is accused of falsifying business records to reimburse his lawyer, Michael Cohen, for a $130,000 hush money payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels just days ahead of the 2016 election against Hillary Clinton. (Photo by Charly TRIBALLEAU / POOL / AFP) (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Trump leaves Trump Tower on the way to court

The former president is in his motorcade in Manhattan and heading downtown.

He gave his trademark wave to the waiting crowds as he crossed the sidewalk in his midtown residence.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 03: Former U.S. President Donald Trump departs Trump Tower en-route to Manhattan Criminal Court on May 03, 2024 in New York City. The hush money trial of the former president continues with testimony from Douglas Daus, a forensic analyst in the Manhattan district attorney's office, who obtained audio from the phones of Michael Cohen, Trump's former fixer, discussing the funding of a hush money deal for a former Playboy model who said she had an affair with Trump. The former president faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first of his criminal cases to go to trial.  (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

CNN’s Anderson Cooper is in court today

There has been a parade of media personalities – including top network anchors – during the trial.

Friday’s is veteran CNN host Anderson Cooper.

They’ve ticked off Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty and seen Hamilton on Broadway.

Now the visitors from Australia are headed for the public gallery of the Donald Trump trial at Manhattan Criminal Court.

‘We woke up this morning and said we have to be in “the room where it happens,’ said Marney, breaking into the hit song from Hamilton, quickly followed by a fit of giggles.

Across the street is the Manhattan court where Donald Trump is on trial.

He has denied 34 counts of falsifying business records.

But a seemingly mundane case about ledgers and checks has become the hottest ticket in town, enlivened already by the testimony of America’s tabloid king and a celebrity lawyer who has won payouts from Charlie Sheen.

Trump: I don’t fall asleep… I simply close my beautiful blue eyes

Donald Trump on Thursday addressed reports that he may have been sleeping during his trial as reporters noted he closed his eyes for long periods of time.

During the lunch break he posted:

Contrary to the FAKE NEWS MEDIA, I don’t fall asleep during the Crooked D.A.’s Witch Hunt, especially not today. I simply close my beautiful blue eyes, sometimes, listen intensely, and take it ALL in!!!

Trump’s posts on his Truth Social profile became a subject of discussion in court today, when his lawyer questioned the judge whether he could post information from news articles about the case.

Judge Merchan dismissed the request.

‘I’m not going to give advance rulings,’ he said, adding that there was ‘no ambiguity’ in the order.

‘If in doubt, steer clear,’ he advised.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump watches as lawyer Keith Davidson, who represented former Playboy model Karen McDougal, is cross examined by defense attorney Emil Bove during Trump's criminal trial before Justice Juan Merchan on charges that he falsified business records to conceal money paid to silence porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016, in Manhattan state court in New York City, U.S. May 2, 2024 in this courtroom sketch. REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg

Trump delivers pizza to the New York Fire Department after court

Donald Trump celebrated the end of Day 10 of the hush money trial by handing out pizzas to members of the FDNY.

The former president drove to the firehouse in Midtown Manhattan to greet the cheering firefighters and hand them slices of pie.

The presumptive Republican nominee for president has made similar stops during breaks from court to keep his campaign going.

Last week he visited a construction site to meet union workers.

Earlier in the trial he went to a bodega in Harlem which was the scene of a shooting that rocked Manhattan.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 02: Republican presidential candidate former U.S. President Donald Trump carries boxes of pizza for the FDNY Engine 2, Battalion 8 firehouse on May 02, 2024 in New York City. Trump delivered pizza to a firehouse after a court appearance in his hush money trial, which started with a hearing where prosecutors argued that Judge Juan Merchan should find Trump in criminal contempt again for violating a gag order. Earlier this week, Trump was found in contempt for nine violations of his April 1 order prohibiting criticism of witnesses and jurors. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 02: Republican presidential candidate former U.S. President Donald Trump carries boxes of pizza for the FDNY Engine 2, Battalion 8 firehouse on May 02, 2024 in New York City. Trump delivered pizza to a firehouse after a court appearance in his hush money trial, which started with a hearing where prosecutors argued that Judge Juan Merchan should find Trump in criminal contempt again for violating a gag order. Earlier this week, Trump was found in contempt for nine violations of his April 1 order prohibiting criticism of witnesses and jurors. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images) ***BESTPIX***
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 02: Republican presidential candidate former U.S. President Donald Trump poses for photos with members of the FDNY Engine 2, Battalion 8 firehouse on May 02, 2024 in New York City. Trump delivered pizza to a firehouse after a court appearance in his hush money trial, which started with a hearing where prosecutors argued that Judge Juan Merchan should find Trump in criminal contempt again for violating a gag order. Earlier this week, Trump was found in contempt for nine violations of his April 1 order prohibiting criticism of witnesses and jurors. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 02: Republican presidential candidate former U.S. President Donald Trump is handed boxes as he delivers pizza to the FDNY Engine 2, Battalion 8 firehouse on May 02, 2024 in New York City. Trump delivered pizza to a firehouse after a court appearance in his hush money trial, which started with a hearing where prosecutors argued that Judge Juan Merchan should find Trump in criminal contempt again for violating a gag order. Earlier this week, Trump was found in contempt for nine violations of his April 1 order prohibiting criticism of witnesses and jurors. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

On an extraordinary 10th day of Donald Trump’s blockbuster hush money trial there were revelations galore.

Trump sat stoically at the defendant’s table as witness Keith Davidson was quizzed by prosecutors and the former president’s attorneys.

Davidson is a lawyer who represented Stormy Daniels, the porn star who claims to have had an affair with Trump and received a $130,000 payment to buy her silence.

His testimony revealed a barrage of information. Here are the key takeaways:

 

 





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