Home News Trump response to sex tryst allegations key focus as hush money trial...

Trump response to sex tryst allegations key focus as hush money trial resumes: live updates


A bid by Trump’s lawyers to show he was concerned about how his family would take the news of the Stormy Daniels sex tryst allegations fizzled Friday as testimony in the ex-president’s hush money trial resumed.

Former top White House aide Madeleine Westerhout, who famously lost her job after saying she had a better relationship with Trump than his daughters, testified that she couldn’t recall Trump mentioning his wife or kids at all in a conversation after the news broke.

Prosecutors are attempting to prove that Trump wanted Daniels’ story killed not for concern of his family — but over how news of the Tahoe dalliance would affect his political prospects.

Westerhout, who gushed on the stand yesterday about her former boss, did initially say  that she understood Trump was worried about his family when the Stormy Daniels allegations broke as she returned to court Friday morning.

But after initially telling Trump lawyer Susan Necheles she believed Trump was worried for his family, Westerhout noted that she couldn’t actually recall him mentioning his wife or kids at all.

“I don’t believe he specifically said that, but I could just tell the whole situation was very unpleasant,” she said to a sustained objection. Her comment was stricken.

Trump, 77, has pleaded not guilty to 34 felony charges alleging he covered up reimbursement to Michael Cohen for paying porn star Stormy Daniels into silence 11 days before the 2016 election by logging it internally as payment for legal fees. 

Prosecutors say the payoff was hastily arranged as the Trump campaign sought to contain the fallout of the damning “Access Hollywood” tape and concluded a yearslong conspiracy to unlawfully promote Trump’s candidacy by suppressing negative information from voters. 

Trump’s defense has claimed that Cohen went rogue in paying off Daniels and that he believed he’d paid him for legitimate legal services. 

Assistant District Attorney Rebecca Mangold questions former Trump White House assistant Madeleine Westerhout on the witness stand about her job working for then President Donald Trump in Manhattan criminal court, Thursday, May 9, 2024, in New York. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)
Assistant District Attorney Rebecca Mangold questions former Trump White House assistant Madeleine Westerhout on the witness stand about her job working for then President Donald Trump in Manhattan criminal court, Thursday, May 9, 2024, in New York. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

Gushing about Trump

Westerhout, to this point one of the prosecution’s most favorable witnesses to Trump, took her seat on Friday morning with a smile in Trump’s direction.

Westerhout, who was Trump’s presidential executive assistant and director of Oval Office operations, first took the stand late Thursday, speaking glowingly of the presumptive Republican nominee, addressing him as “sir” from the stand, and shedding light on the inner workings of the Trump White House. 

She told jurors Trump liked speaking in person or the phone — as early as 6 a.m. and late into the night — preferred hard copy documents over digital, and used a dining room table as his office to keep the Resolute desk “really pristine.” 

US President-elect Donald Trump's transition liaison Madeline Westerhout talks on the phone in the lobby of Trump Tower, November 30, 2016 in New York. / AFP / Bryan R. Smith (Photo credit should read BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP via Getty Images)
US President-elect Donald Trump’s transition liaison Madeline Westerhout talks on the phone in the lobby of Trump Tower, November 30, 2016 in New York. (BRYAN R. SMITH / AFP via Getty Images)

Westerhout said the notoriously email-averse Trump didn’t use a computer but was very particular about his online presence and Twitter posts. 

“It’s my understanding that he liked to use the Oxford comma,” she told the court. 

Westerhout said she was never formally trained after her January 2017 hiring so closely observed Trump aides, including Hope Hicks, John McEntee, Dan Scavino, and Keith Schiller, to learn. 

Former White House assistant to then-President Donald Trump, Madeleine Westerhout weeps on the stand describing how she lost her White House job in Manhattan criminal court, Thursday, May 9, 2024, in New York. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)
Former White House assistant to then-President Donald Trump, Madeleine Westerhout weeps on the stand describing how she lost her White House job in Manhattan criminal court, Thursday, May 9, 2024, in New York. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

Westerhout, 34, broke down into tears Thursday, relaying details of her firing after telling reporters she had a better relationship with the former president than his daughters and said they were overweight.

“I was invited by a White House colleague of mine to what I understood to be an off-the-record dinner. And at that dinner I said some things that I should not have said,” Westerhout testified. 

“That mistake, eventually — ultimately, cost me my job. And I am very regretful of my youthful indiscretion. But I feel like I’ve learned a lot from that experience. I think I’ve grown a lot since then.”

After her firing, she wrote a memoir, “Off the Record; My Dream Job at the White House; How I Lost It and What I Learned,” which Westerhout told the court she wrote as “it was really important to share with the American people the man that I got to know.”

“I don’t think he’s treated fairly, and I wanted to tell that story,” a distraught Westerhout said. 

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 10, 2024. Trump is accused of falsifying business records in a scheme to cover up an alleged sexual encounter with adult film actress Stormy Daniels to shield his 2016 election campaign from adverse publicity. (Photo by JEENAH MOON / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JEENAH MOON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) ** OUTS - ELSENT, FPG, CM - OUTS * NM, PH, VA if sourced by CT, LA or MoD **
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 10, 2024. (Photo by JEENAH MOON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Check back for updates. 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here