Hope Hicks testifies about Trump campaign, 'Access Hollywood' tape in hush money trial

Hicks told Judge Merchan that she was "really nervous" about taking the stand.
Hope Hicks
Posted at 8:55 AM, May 03, 2024

Hope Hicks, who served as former President Donald Trump's White House communications director, and later, his counselor, broke down on the witness stand as she testified in Trump's hush money trial on Friday.

When being questioned about her portfolio in hospitality and real estate, Hicks appeared overwhelmed and a brief recess was called.

Hicks had been on the stand for hours before appearing emotional. Upon taking the stand on Friday morning, she had told Judge Juan Merchan, "I'm really nervous."

Trump is on trial in New York, accused of illegally falsifying business records in an effort to influence the results of the 2016 election.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg alleges Trump tried to conceal an "illegal scheme to influence the 2016 presidential election" by trying to cover up extramarital affairs. Bragg claims Trump falsified records to hide payments to attorney Michael Cohen that were meant for porn actress Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, as well as a former doorman at Trump Tower.

Prior to Trump's presidency, Hicks served as a 2016 campaign press secretary.

The first few hours on the stand for Hicks centered around her relationship with Trump and knowledge about the campaign, specifically the "Access Hollywood" tape. Hicks said she received a transcript of the tape from a Washington Post reporter in 2016 who is going to break the story. The reporter was apparently requesting a comment from Hicks.

“I had a good sense to believe this was going to be a massive story and that it was going to dominate the news cycle for the next several days,” Hicks testified. “This was a damaging development."

Hicks testified to concerns that the incident would affect both Trump's campaign for president and his family.

When Hicks was asked to describe to the court what was on the tape, she said that Trump and host Billy Bush were having an inappropriate conversation about women. She went on to detail how the campaign dealt with the fallout.

Earlier in the day, Hicks said it was an honor to work for the Trump administration, but noted she had not spoken to the former president since the fall or summer of 2022.

Friday is not the first time she has testified about Trump's actions.

She was a witness for the House of Representatives investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection. Hicks testified that she was concerned that Trump's allegations that the 2020 election was stolen were "damaging" Trump's legacy as president.