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Sunday, May 19, 2024
Sunday May 19, 2024
Sunday May 19, 2024

Former Trump spokeswoman details 2016 campaign crisis management in court

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Hope hicks testifies on Trump campaign’s efforts to counter damaging stories, as Trump faces 34 felony charges

This week, the Manhattan criminal court witnessed Hope Hicks, former spokeswoman for Donald J. Trump, detailing the 2016 presidential campaign’s crisis management tactics following the release of the “Access Hollywood” tape. The tape, which captured Trump making derogatory remarks about women, spurred a series of damage-control actions by his aides.

On Friday, under subpoena, Hicks recounted her immediate reaction to the tape, recognizing it as a potential campaign crisis. Her testimony provided insights into the intense strategies employed to mitigate the fallout, particularly as the election approached. Hicks’s emotional recount included moments of tears during her nearly three-hour testimony.

The crux of the current charges against Trump involves the alleged falsification of business records to conceal a payment of $130,000 to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, who claims to have had an affair with Trump in 2006. Trump, who has denied both the affair and any wrongdoing, faces 34 felony counts that could lead to probation or prison time if convicted.

Hicks played a pivotal role during the campaign, rising rapidly within Trump’s team from a position with his daughter Ivanka to becoming his campaign press secretary. Her testimony revisited the “Access Hollywood” incident and its aftermath, where she and other aides devised strategies to deflect further negative attention. These strategies included vehement denials of any wrongdoing in the days leading up to the election.

The testimony also highlighted the campaign’s interactions with Michael D. Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, who arranged payments to suppress unfavourable stories. Cohen’s involvement with paying Daniels was a focal point, illustrating the campaign’s urgency to quash emerging scandals.

Legal proceedings this week also revisited the financial arrangements with Karen McDougal, another woman who alleged an affair with Trump. The trial saw evidence of Trump’s own admissions and denials, providing a complex picture of his campaign’s efforts to control the narrative.

As the trial adjourned for the weekend, it left a looming question over Trump’s direct involvement and knowledge of the payments made to Daniels and McDougal. The court anticipates further proceedings to delve into these matters, with additional witnesses expected to shed more light on the internal workings of the 2016 Trump campaign

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