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5 Key Takeaways from Hope Hicks’ Riveting Testimony in Trump Trial

Hope Hicks (Credits: CNN)

Former President Trump‘s trial has reached a dramatic turning point with the testimony of former aide Hope Hicks. Hicks, who served as press secretary during Trump’s first presidential campaign and later as White House communications director, took the stand to share her insights into the Trump campaign and administration.

Donald Trump (Credits: The Boston Globe)

Hicks Relives the Chaos of the ‘Access Hollywood’ Tape

The “Access Hollywood” tape, which features Trump making lewd comments about women, has cast a shadow over the trial. Hicks recounted receiving a prepublication email from the reporter who broke the story, David Fahrenthold, and her initial instinct to “deny, deny, deny” the allegations. She also recalled Trump’s contention that the words did not sound like something he would say, but also that they were not unusual for two men talking about women.

Hicks Provides Some Hope for Her Old Boss

Despite being estranged from Trump, Hicks’ testimony provided some hope for her former boss. She recounted a Wall Street Journal story about payments made to Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model who alleges she had an affair with Trump. Hicks said Trump was worried about how the story would be viewed by his wife, Melania. This is important because if the payment to Stormy Daniels was made to spare Trump personal embarrassment, the election interference element of the case would fall apart.

Donald Trump, Pulitzer Prize-Worthy

One of the lighter moments came when Hicks recalled conversations she overheard Trump have with former magazine magnate David Pecker. Trump would call to congratulate Pecker on stories published in the National Enquirer, including hit pieces on his GOP rivals. Hicks said Trump was “congratulating him on the great reporting” and would proclaim some of the stories “Pulitzer-worthy.”

Hope Hicks, former Trump adviser (Credits: NPR)

Trump Pays Up for Gag Order Violations

Proceedings began with the topic of Judge Juan Merchan’s gag order imposed upon Trump. A court official confirmed that Trump has paid a $9,000 fine for violating the order. Merchan also corrected Trump’s assertion, suggesting that the gag order prevented him from testifying.

Trial Becomes the Hottest Media Ticket in Town

The public interest in the case is intense, and the courtroom was packed with media and onlookers. Prominent cable news anchors Lawrence O’Donnell and Anderson Cooper were among those in attendance, and Trump exchanged a brief greeting with Cooper.

As the trial continues, it remains to be seen how Hicks’ testimony will impact the case. However, one thing is clear: the drama and intrigue surrounding Trump’s legal woes show no signs of abating anytime soon.

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