May 30, 2024

Follow all of Thursday’s action from DailyMail.com’s reporters in the court.

Judge Juan Merchan gave a brutal dressing down of Donald Trump’s defense lawyers in front of the former president as he denied their motion for a mistrial in the hush money case Thursday afternoon.

It was the second motion for a mistrial from the defense this week after scandalous testimony from porn star Stormy Daniels about her alleged sexual encounter with Trump.

In his call for a mistrial, lawyer Todd Blanche called Stormy Daniels’ testimony ‘extraordinarily prejudicial’ and noted that even the judge had agreed some of the testimony was ‘unnecessary.’

‘It almost defies belief that we’re here about a records case and the government is asking about an incident that happened in 2006,’ Blanche argued referring to Daniels’ testimony on Tuesday about rolling up a magazine and spanking Trump with it nearly 20 years ago.

Trump blasts ‘corrupt’ judge and says he won’t do ‘any extra explaining’ after Stormy Daniels’ testimony

Donald Trump again called the judge in the hush money trial ‘corrupt’ as he left court following Stormy Daniels’ explosive testimony.

The former president railed against the gag order and said: ‘I don’t think we have to do any extra explaining, I’m not allowed to anyway because this judge is corrupt.’

‘He’s a corrupt judge.Everybody saw what happened today.

‘He’s a corrupt judge, and he’s totally conflicted.’

Again he bemoaned not being on the campaign trail and said ‘every’ legal analyst he has read has criticized the case.

It followed the end of Daniels’ six-hour appearance on the stand, where she detailed the alleged sexual encounter they had in a hotel room in 2006.

She went into lurid detail with her allegations against Trump. He was 60 at the time they first met and she was 27.

The defense lawyers deployed a high-risk strategy of using her career in adult films to undermine her credibility.

epa11330173 Former US President Donald Trump walks to speak to the press at the end of the day of his hush money trial at the Supreme Court of the State of New York, in New York City, USA, 09 May 2024. Trump is facing 34 felony counts of falsifying business records related to payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels during his 2016 presidential campaign.  EPA/ANGELA WEISS / POOL
epa11330167 Former US President Donald Trump speaks to the press at the end of the day of his hush money trial at the Supreme Court of the State of New York, in New York City, USA, 09 May 2024. Trump is facing 34 felony counts of falsifying business records related to payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels during his 2016 presidential campaign.  EPA/ANGELA WEISS / POOL

Donald Trump‘s former executive assistant has revealed that Melania Trump was ‘definitely the one in charge’ in her marriage to Donald Trump.

In dramatic testimony to Trump’s hush money trial Madeleine Westerhout said the former first couple had a ‘special relationship’ founded on ‘mutual respect’.

When he was president Trump would call his wife from the Oval Office and ask her to look down from a window in the White House residence.

And when he was leaving on a helicopter he would call her to ‘check in’.

Donald Trump‘s defense lawyer’s strategy was clear as she cross-examined adult movie actor and director Stormy Daniels on Thursday: Paint the witness as a money-grabbing huckster who made a career out of inventing sex scenes.

Lawyers call it a ‘nuts and sluts’ defense.

It was a tussle that Daniels—all shrugs and steely outrage—was up for.

Read more below from Senior Political Reporter Rob Crilly inside court:

Judge Merchan: your motion for a mistrial is denied

Judge Merchan denies motion for a mistrial.

Court will resume on Friday at 9:30am ET.

Judge slams defense for its handling of Stormy Daniels testimony and not objecting to condom being mentioned

Judge Juan Merchan says on Tuesday he pulled out his earlier decision to reject a mistrial and looked at transcript from Tuesday’s proceedings and went back to make sure no one violated guidelines. He says he came away satisfied.

Merchan also says going back to opening statements, lawyer Todd Blanche denied there ever was a sexual encounter between Trump and Daniels and that denial put jury in position to have to choose who they would believe.

He says the more Daniels could provide specifics about the encounter, the more they can weigh whether to credit her.

epa11330036 Former US President Donald Trump speaks with attorney Susan Necheles (R) as he walks to the courtroom following a break in his hush money trial at the Supreme Court of the State of New York, in New York City, USA, 09 May 2024. Trump is facing 34 felony counts of falsifying business records related to payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels during his 2016 presidential campaign.  EPA/ANGELA WEISS / POOL

Merchan does say he agrees some details didn’t need to come out including about the condom. He questions ‘why on earth’ Susan Necheles did not object to the testimony.

He also said he does not understand why the defense went over the Daniels claims she was not drugged or drunk and other details ‘at nauseum’ over and over again during cross-examination.

He also disagrees with defense that there is any new account in Daniels’ testimony.

Prosecutor slams defense argument for a mistrial as ‘not true’

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass says Todd Blanche’s argument for a mistrial is ‘flat out’ not true.

He says the details of Stormy Daniels’ story were well documented and rejects the claim that the defense was ambushed.

Steinglass also says claim that Daniels changed her story is ‘extraordinarily untrue.’

Steinglass says to the extent there were inconsistencies, Necheles ‘probed them’ in her ‘thorough’ cross-examination.

He argues that the prosecution also tried very hard to honor the judge’s wishes and pull back Daniels’ testimony.

Defense lawyer Todd Blanche is calling for a mistrial

Trump’s defense attorney Todd Blanche is arguing for a mistrial.

He called Stormy Daniels’ testimony ‘extraordinarily prejudicial.’

Blanche notes the judge even said the degree of detail in her testimony ‘is unnecessary’ and to move along.

He blasts the prosecution saying ‘the government said ok and they did not do that.’

Blanche is reading from the transcript of Daniels’ testimony about having sex with Trump in 2006.

At one point Blanche says asking Daniels about the porn company she worked for requiring condoms for all its performers, but Trump not wearing one was a ‘dog whistle for rape.’

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 9: Former U.S. President Donald Trump raises his fist as he and attorney Susan Necheles return from a break in his trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments at Manhattan Criminal Court on May 9, 2024 in New York City. Trump was charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records last year, which prosecutors say was an effort to hide a potential sex scandal, both before and after the 2016 presidential election. Trump is the first former U.S. president to face trial on criminal charges. (Photo by Angela Weiss-Pool/Getty Images)

Judge Merchan rejects modifying gag order

Judge Juan Merchan denies defense’s motion for the gag order to be modified.

He says he is concerned with protecting the proceedings as a whole and how witnesses will be treated by Todd Blanche’s client Donald Trump.

‘My concern is not just protecting Ms. Daniels,’ he says. ‘My concern is protecting the integrity of these proceedings as a whole.’

He points out that everyone sees what happens and how witnesses who have testified ‘are going to be treated.’

‘I can’t take your word for it that this is not going to be an attack. That’s just not the track record,’ Merchan says.

Merchan notes past vitriol, and he says the client’s track record ‘speaks for itself.’

Defense requests Trump be able to respond to Stormy Daniels testimony

Trump’s lawyer Todd Blanche is pressing back on the gag order restricting Donald Trump from speaking about witness Stormy Daniels in light of her testimony.

‘He needs an opportunity to respond to the American people,’ Blanche says.

Blanche argues Daniels is no longer a witness.

The other side can say things, Blanche argues, but Trump can’t.

‘It cannot be that he cannot respond to that… now that she’s off the stand,’ Blanche says.

He claims Daniels’ story has changed, so Trump should be able to respond.

Prosecutor Chris Conroy argues there are people making the case for Trump publicly, and he can respond in court.

He claims modifying the gag order now would signal to witnesses that they are at risk as well.

Karen McDougal no longer expected to testify

Defense attorney Todd Blanche says he was informed by prosecutors they don’t plan to call the former Playboy playmate.

Westerhout leaves the courtroom with a smile

From Sarah Ewall-Wice, Senior U.S. Political Reporter in court:

Madeleine Westehrout’s testimony has wrapped up for the day.

She appeared to smile in Donald Trump’s direction as she left the witness stand.

Madeleine Westerhout is seen with the Thanksgiving turkey in one of her Twitter photos, posted November 21, 2017 and captioned: It's almost time for the National Turkey Pardoning! Will it be Wishbone or Drumstick??

Jury is being dismissed for the day

Westerhout praises Trump as a boss during cross-examination

Madeleine Westerhout is being cross-examined by Susan Necheles.

She is giving a glowing review of working for Donald Trump at the White House, calling him a really good boss and that she found him ‘enjoyable to work for.’

Madeleine Westerhout breaks down in tears on the witness stand

Madeleine Westerhout broke down in tears on the witness stand when she was asked about her exit from the White House.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump watches as Former Director of Oval Office Operations Madeleine Westerhout testifies during his criminal trial 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 9, 2024 in this courtroom sketch. REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg

She dabs her eyes with tissues and is asked if she needs to take a moment, but they keep going.

She recalls she went to a dinner she thought was off the record and ‘said some things I should not have said.’ She recalls it ‘ultimately’ cost her the job and she is ‘very regretful of my youthful indiscretion.’

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 2: Madeleine Westerhout watches as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with North Korean defectors in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC on Friday, Feb. 02, 2018. President Donald Trump talked to reporters and members of the media about the release of a secret memo on the F.B.I.'s role in the Russia inquiry. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Westerhout wrote an entire book about her exit from the White House.

She says she wrote it because she wanted to share with the American people about the ‘man I got to know.’

‘I don’t think he’s treated fairly and I wanted to tell that story,’ she says.

She spoke to Trump at a fundraiser once after she left the White House.

Westerhout says she really ‘respected’ Trump and Melania’s relationship

Westerhout is asked about her interactions with Melania Trump. She says she did interact with her.

She recalls Trump was very upset by the Stormy Daniels story and that Trump spoke to Michael Cohen around that time.

Westerhout describes the Trumps’ relationship as one of ‘mutual respect.’

‘I know he cares a lot about her opinion,’ she recalls.

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)

She describes Melania as the one who could put Trump in his place and said their relationship was ‘special.’

She also says the couple ‘laughed a lot when she came into the office.’

‘I just really respected their relationship,’ Westerhout says.

Did anything change about their relationship after Stormy Daniels story came out?

‘Not that I saw,’ she says.

Westerhout is being used by prosecutor to establish Trump approving expenses

In one example shown to the jury, Rhona Graff sent note about golf club and whether to pay personal dues.

Because the note was sent down to White House, Westerhout says she passed it on to the president.

The jury is shown the note sent by Graff with her note about the club dues.

On the note below what Graff had written, Trump wrote in his own hand: ‘Pay –’

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 2: White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Madeleine Westerhout watch as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with North Korean defectors in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC on Friday, Feb. 02, 2018. President Donald Trump talked to reporters and members of the media about the release of a secret memo on the F.B.I.'s role in the Russia inquiry. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Westerhout is recalling how Trump’s personal finances were handled

When asked about Trump’s personal financials, Westerhout recalls ‘it was my understanding they were handled by checks.’

She says she would bring them in for Trump to sign. At first checks were sent to Keith Schiller and eventually to her.

Westerhout would open the envelopes and bring them in for the president to sign. She says there were sometimes invoices attached.

She says she doesn’t recall the frequency of checks but says it was ‘consistent’ ‘maybe twice a month.’

Despite the dull topic, the jury appears to be paying attention to the details of her testimony.

Facebook photos of Madeleine Westerhout. She's shown here at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio in a photo posted July 25, 2016.

Westerhout says Michael Cohen did visit White House

She describes the relationship between Trump and Cohen at the time as close.

Did he visit the White House?

‘I believe so,’ she says.

The jury is shown an email between Cohen and Westerhout confirming his visit and asking Cohen for information to get through.

The jury is shown a list of contacts provided by Graff to Westerhout.

She recalls it was a list of people Trump reached out to often or might want to speak to.

The list included the then-president’s family including daughter Tiffany, Allen Weisselberg, and David Pecker who Westerhout described as a ‘tabloid person.’

Michael Cohen is also listed.

When she received list she entered all the contacts into her contacts, Westerhout recalls.

If a name appeared on the list, she says ‘yes’ she was more likely to patch them through to the then-president.

Jury is seeing emails between Madeleine Westerhout and Rhona Graff

Madeleine Westerhout testifies that her main point of contact at Trump Organization was Rhona Graff, his Trump Organization executive assistant.

When Trump had questions for Trump Organization employees, she recalls she would pass those along.

She says she would speak to Graff weekly if not daily early in the job but that tapered off as the work continued.

The first emails shown invovled an exchange about Westerhout getting contacts from Graff.

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 2: Madeleine Westerhout watches as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with North Korean defectors in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC on Friday, Feb. 02, 2018. President Donald Trump talked to reporters and members of the media about the release of a secret memo on the F.B.I.'s role in the Russia inquiry. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Westerhout shares details of Trump’s work habits at the White House

Madeleine Westerhout is going through some details of Donald Trump’s work habits in the White House.

At one poine she says she felt guilty she would go to bed sometimes before Trump finished taking calls at night.

When asked if Trump used a computer or have an email account, she responds to each ‘not to my knowledge.’

Did Trump like to read? ‘Yes,’ she says.

She describes how he moved his working space into a room off the side of the oval office eventually. She recall she wanted to keep the oval office ‘pristine.’

She also discusses his signature habits. He prefered to sign things himself.

‘He liked to use sharpies,’ she says. She also mentions a felt-

Madeleine Westerhout is seen with President Donald Trump in one of her Twitter photos.

tipped pen.

Prosecutor taking Westerhout through details of her job at White House

The prosecution is working to establish how closely Madeleine Westerhout worked near Donald Trump in the White House.

The jury is being shown a floorplan of the White House with the Oval Office listed as well as surrounding offices.

Prosecutor asks: ‘Did anyone work closer to Trump than you did?’

‘Not in the first few months,’ she says.

Madeleine Westerhout is seen with President Donald Trump in her Facebook cover photo.

Westerhout identifies Michael Cohen as Trump’s personal lawyer during 2016 transition

Westerhout was known as ‘greeter girl’ at Trump Tower after Trump won the election and before he took office. She came up to New York to help with scheduling.

She is asked about Michael Cohen and identifies him as Trump’s lawyer.

She describes him as ‘around’ at Trump Tower during that time.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on November 29, 2016, US Representative Michael McCaul, flanked by a presidential transition team aide Madeleine Westerhout, arrives at Trump Tower during a day of  meetings with President-elect Donald Trump in New York. - Donald Trump's personal assistant Madeleine Westerhout resigned on August 29, 2018, after she shared information about the president's family with journalists, US media reported. Westerhout's unexpected departure came after Trump learned that she had talked about his family and White House matters with reporters at an off-the-record session during the president's recent working vacation in New Jersey, The New York Times reported citing unnamed sources. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP)TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

Madeleine Westerhout asked about Access Hollywood tape

Westerhout was at the RNC when the Access Hollywood tape of Trump was released during the 2016 election.

She is asked the impact the tape had.

Westerhout says it was ‘rattling’ to RNC leadership.

She recalls there were conversations about how it would be possible to replace Donald Trump as the candidate if it came to that.

Trump remained the candidate.

Next witness called is Madeleine Westerhout

Madeleine Westerhout is the next question called by the prosecution.

She works in consulting but she worked as Donald Trump’s executive assistant in the White House. Before the 2016 election she worked for the Republican National Committee.

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 2: Madeleine Westerhout watches as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with North Korean defectors in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC on Friday, Feb. 02, 2018. President Donald Trump talked to reporters and members of the media about the release of a secret memo on the F.B.I.'s role in the Russia inquiry. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

When asked if she’s nervous to testify, she says ‘I am now.’

Tracey Menzies testimony has wrapped

Witness from HarperCollins has left the witness stand.

Menzies cross-examination is underway

Trump’s lawyer Todd Blanche is questioning the witness, Tracey Menzies.

Menzies is reading excerpts from Trump’s book

Tracey Menzies is being asked to read excerpts from Trump’s book ‘Think Big.’

One chapter she reads from is titled ‘Do Not Trust Anyone.’

Another excerpt she is reading is about loyalty. For someone he describes in the book as disloyal, Trump writes he goes out of his way to make her life miserable.

Next witness: Tracey Menzies

Tracey Menzies is the next witness. She has worked for HarperCollins for the past 25 years.

She is being asked about the Trump book ‘Think Big: Make it Happen in Business and Life.’

The cover of the book is being shown in court.

Rebecca Manochio testimony wraps

Rebecca Manochio testimony resumes

Trump defense lawyer Susan Necheles is cross examining Rebecca Manochio.

Manochio was Allen Weisselberg’s executive assistant at the Trump Organization.

Manochio testifies that Ivanka Trump was also having her checks sent down to Washington while she was working at the White House.

Trump returns to court after lunch

Daniels’ lawyer says he ‘couldn’t be prouder’ of her testimony

Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Clark Brewster praised his client as she left the witness stand following six hours of testimony in the Manhattan trial.

He posted a photo of him smiling with the adult film star who was grilled on her adult film career during the brutal cross-examination by Trump’s defense attorneys.

Court recesses for lunch

Jury shown email from Trump White House aide about receiving his personal checks

The jury was shown an email from John McEntee, who worked for Trump as a personal aide at the White House to Rhona Graff in September 2017.

McEntee asked to be put in touch with Rebecca Manochio as Trump’s aide Keith Schiller was leaving his job.

McEntree wrote: ‘I will need the bosses personal checks mailed to me.’

In a follow up email to Manochio, McEntee said ‘we are all very sad to see [Schiller] go.’

McEntee gave her a personal email address so could give Manochio the best address to send the checks to.

Subsequent invoices from FedEx reflected that the checks were sent to McEntee – the jury were shown one from November.

Rebecca Manochio testifies about sending Trump checks down to Washington

Rebecca Manochio is testifying about mailing Donald Trump’s checks unsigned down to Washington. They would come back signed.

She says she would FedEx the checks about once a week.

Manochio recalls sending a few checks at a time but has remembered one.

She would put unsigned checks in an envelope. Returned checks were also sent to her at the Trump Organization with his signature.

Prosecutors allege that Trump signed nine checks for more than $300,000 to repay Michael Cohen while he was President of the United States.

When it was addressed that Trump got a new job as president, Trump smiled.

TOPSHOT - Former US President Donald Trump leaves during 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 9, 2024. X-rated film actress Stormy Daniels returned to the witness stand on Thursday at Trump's hush money trial for another round of expected tough grilling by attorneys for the former president. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Next witness: Rebecca Manochio

Rebecca Manochio is the next witness to testify.

She is a junior book keeper at the Trump Organization.

She is testifying about previously being an executive assistant to Allen Weisselberg, former chief financial officer, for eight years.

Stormy Daniels’ testimony wraps up

Stormy Daniels has left the witness stand.

She testified for more than six hours and delivered by far the most intense and salacious evidence.

Daniels is photographed departing the courthouse:

epa11329471 Stormy Daniels (C) departs the Supreme Court of the State of New York after testifying in the hush money trial of former US President Donal Trump, in New York City, USA, 09 May 2024. Trump is facing 34 felony counts of falsifying business records related to payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels during his 2016 presidential campaign.  EPA/JUSTIN LANE
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 09: Stormy Daniels leaves Manhattan Criminal Court on May 09, 2024 in New York City. Daniels, whose sexual encounter with former president Donald Trump is at the center of his hush money case, has concluded her testimony at the trial. Trump 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)

Stormy Daniels appears much more reserved

From Sarah Ewall-Wice, Senior U.S. Political Reporter in court:

After firing of some zingers during cross-examination, Stormy Daniels is much more subdued during the redirect and follow-up questions from the defense.

She is speaking much more softly, slowly and giving some one-word answers.

Daniels has been viewing a series of nasty social media posts.

Stormy Daniels is questioned by defense attorney Susan Necheles during former U.S. President Donald Trump's criminal trial 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 9, 2024 in this courtroom sketch. REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg

Stormy Daniels says telling the truth has been a ‘net negative’ in her life

In redirect, prosecutor Susan Hoffinger asks ‘have you been telling lies about Mr. Trump or the truth about Mr. Trump?’

‘The truth,’ Daniels says.

She is asked about the costs of telling her story. She mentions hiring security and having to move. She also notes attorney fees after losing judgement.

‘Has publicly telling the truth been net positive or net negative?’ Hoffinger asks.

‘Negative,’ says Daniels.

Prosecutor rests.

Prosecutor shows Stormy Daniels tweet threatening her

Prosecutor asks Stormy Daniels about a tweet where someone calls her a prostitute and says ‘good luck walking down the street.’

It is one of several posts Daniels is asked to view.

Daniels says the ones she is being shown are ‘tame’ by comparison to some others.

Trump ally Rick Scott slams judge’s daughter outside courtroom

Florida Senator Rick Scott spoke to reporters stationed outside of the Trump trial courthouse.

‘The lead prosecutor was the number three person at the Biden Justice Department,’ he said referring to prosecutor Michael Colangelo.

‘The judge’s daughter is a political operative who raises money for Democrats, this has to stop. We know that President Biden can’t win this election fair and square,’ Scott stated.

He also appeared on Fox News while Stormy’s testimony was ongoing, calling the case ‘political persecution.’

‘It is a crime to use the courts for political persecution. If we don’t stop this every American is at risk. I’m going to go support this president because this is wrong what’s happening to this guy.’

Prosecutor asks Stormy Daniels what was NOT asked by defense lawyer

Prosecutor Susan Hoffinger is poking holes in the cross-examination of Stormy Daniels.

As one example of several, she pulls up a line from an article that notes Daniels’ interview had been ‘edited’ and says Susan Necheles ‘didn’t ask you about that?’

Daniels confirms she did not.

Prosecutor begins redirect of Stormy Daniels

Prosecutor Susan Hoffinger is asking Stormy Daniels questions.

Cross-examination has wrapped up

Stormy Daniels notes ‘a lot of indictments’ against Trump

Susan Necheles is asking Stormy Daniels about her knowledge of the indictment against Trump.

‘There are a lot of indictments,’ Daniels says. She smiles.

It came as Necheles had been asking Daniels about the payment at the center of the case.

Daniels said she was paid by her lawyer. She never negotiated directly with Donald Trump.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump watches as Stormy Daniels is questioned by defense attorney Susan Necheles during Trump's criminal trial 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 9, 2024 in this courtroom sketch. REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg
New York Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan  listens as former U.S. President Donald Trump watches as Stormy Daniels is questioned by defense attorney Susan Necheles during Trump's criminal trial 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 9, 2024 in this courtroom sketch. REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg

Trump’s former White House communications chief says salacious Stormy Daniels testimony is ‘baked in’ for voters

Trump’s former White House communications director Mike Dubke, in a rare appearance on CNN, says voters won’t be swayed by Stormy Daniels’ testimony.

Dubke served over 100 days – or as he put it ’10 Scaramuccis’ – as Trump’s communications chief.

He told CNN:

I think all of what’s being discussed right now is is a known quantity to the American people…all of these details, I mean, I think it’s baked in on what the American people will accept from Donald Trump.

Dubke added:

There’s two juries here that we’re talking about. If we’re only talking about the jury in that New York City courtroom, they should have been over at 9.45am. But there’s the jury of the American people. We are now witnessing a presidential campaign being run out of a courtroom. It is a high wire act. He’s a very accomplished performer on the high wire.

Trump lawyer brings up Make America Horny Again tour showing fliers in court

Trump’s lawyer submits social media posts by Stormy Daniels of the fliers to her tour into evidence.

The posts are shown in the courtroom.

Daniels had testified she did not like the name of the tour. She says she reposted to promote for her job.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump watches as Stormy Daniels is questioned by defense attorney Susan Necheles during his criminal trial 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 9, 2024 in this courtroom sketch. REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg

Trump seemingly celebrates as Stormy cross-examination goes well for him

From Rob Crilly, Senior Political Reporter inside court:

As the jury left for a short morning break, Trump tapped his defense lawyer Susan Necheles on the left elbow as if to thank her for her work cross-examing Daniels.

Once the jury and witness had left, Trump then exited the court and pointed at Newsmax host Greg Kelly in the public gallery.

He clearly thinks he had a good morning.

Former President Donald Trump, with his attorney Todd Blanch at his side,  arrives for his trial at Manhattan Criminal Court, Thursday, May 9, 2024, in New York. (Victor J. Blue/The Washington Post via AP, Pool)

Court takes a short break

Trump lawyers deploying high-risk strategy by asking about Daniels’ career in adult films

From Rob Crilly, Senior Political Reporter inside court:

This is a high-risk strategy by the defense, using Stormy Daniels’ history in the adult movie against her.

Susan Necheles, the only woman on the defense team, has already pointed out that Daniels has made a career out of inventing sex scenes, suggesting that the Trump encounter is just another figment of her imagination.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Larry Marano/Shutterstock (14011644cx) Stormy Daniels attends the Exxxotica Expo held at The Miami Airport Convention Center, Miami, Florida, USA - 15 Jul 2023 The Exxxotica Expo held at The Miami Airport Convention Center, Miami, Florida, USA - 15 Jul 2023

And now she is asking how it is that someone who has acted in 200 movies could possibly be shocked by the sight of a man in boxer shorts sitting on a bed.

One of the women in the jury is sitting forward now, her head snapping back and forth to follow questions and answers.

Trump lawyer accuses Stormy Daniels of changing story

‘Your story has completely changed hasn’t it?’ Susan Necheles says.

‘No, not at all,’ Daniels says she shot back that the lawyer is trying to make her say it has changed ‘but it hasn’t changed.’

At another point Necheles says ‘you made all this up right?’

‘No,’ Daniels says.

Trump’s lawyer zeroes in on Daniels’ testimony about Trump being in his underwear and the sex

Susan Necheles is focused on Stormy Daniels’ previous retelling of the story where she came out of the bathroom and Trump was in his underwear on the bed.

She asks a series of questions about Daniels’ surprise about Trump being on the bed and her feeling faint.

She asks after all the porn Daniels has done, seeing a man sitting on the bed in his boxers and t-shirt was so upsetting she got light headed and almost fainted?

Daniels counters: ‘Yes, when you’re not expecting to see a man twice your age.’

Daniels responds ‘absolutely.’ She goes on that ‘if I came out of the bathroom and saw an older man I wasn’t expecting to see there.

Necheles points out earlier Daniels claims she spanked him. Daniels says that was ‘in jest.’

At another point, Necheles notes that she said in her book ‘you’d made him your b***ch?’

‘I had earlier, yes,’ Daniels says.

‘Because you are powerful right?’

‘I used to think so,’ Daniels says.

EXCLUSIVE: The private Donald - Lounging on the bed in his robe, snuggling with his babies, changing a diaper. The extraordinary trove of hundreds of Trump family photos found in a THRIFT SHOP showing his softer side A treasure trove of Trump memorabilia, including roughly 1,000 photographs of Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump, his family and friends found its way into a thrift shop and then a collectorThe photos are even more remarkable for the humanizing and family man portrait it paints of the often combative and caustic Oval Office candidateI think oThe material includes personal hand written notes and cards,  Donald and Czech-born Ivana's Bacharach wedding album, eldest son Donald J. Trump, Jr.'s baby album dated Dec. 31, 1977A sweet drawing of her parents by Ivanka portrays them in a fairy-tale setting with hearts and flowersRead more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3913524/The-extraordinary-intimate-Trump-family-photos-THRIFT-SHOP-showing-Donald-s-softe

Trump lawyer presses Stormy Daniels over the meaning of ‘dinner’ from her 2006 Trump encounter

Trump’s lawyer is attempting to poke holes in Stormy Daniels’ story about Trump in 2006 where he had invited her over for dinner.

This is the alleged encounter where Daniels and Trump had sex.

Susan Necheles brings up Daniels’ interview in 2018 in which she says she went for dinner.

There is a back and forth over what dinner meant.

‘I went to dinner and didn’t get dinner,’ Daniels says.

Necheles also says it was a big deal you didn’t get dinner?

‘It was dinnertime, I was hungry,’ Daniels says.

Daniels says they spent dinner time in the room, but they never actually ate.

Necheles is going through exact wording in Daniels’ previous retelling of the story and argues there have been inconsistencies.

LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 27:  Adult film actress/director Stormy Daniels attends the 2018 Adult Video News Awards at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on January 27, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Stormy Daniels says if she made up Trump sex story she ‘would have written it to be a lot better’

Donald Trump’s lawyer is asking Stormy Daniels about making porn films.

‘You have a lot of experience of making phony stories about sex appear to be real?’ Necheles says.

Daniels counters ‘wow, that’s not how I’d put it.’

She says ‘the sex in the films is very much real.’ She adds ‘just like what happened to me in that room’ referencing her alleged encounter with Trump in 2006.

Daniels is asked about a supposedly fake story about having sex with Trump.

She responds: ‘if that story was untrue, I would have written it to be a lot better.’

Stormy Daniels is questioned by prosecutor Susan Hoffinger during Trump's criminal trial 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 7, 2024 in this courtroom sketch. REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg

Trump lawyer brings up merchandise sold in Stormy Daniels store

Trump’s lawyer is working to show Stormy Daniels is still making money off her story.

Susan Necheles calls up evidence including merchandise that is sold on Stormy Daniels’ store.

Before pulling up the evidence, Necheles asks Stormy Daniels about taking credit for the Trump indictment.

‘You’re bragging about how you got President Trump indicted,’ Necheles says.

‘I got President Trump indicted?’ Daniels responds by gesturing to herself.

Necheles pulls up an image of one item: ‘Stormy Saint of Indictments Candle.’

She asks Daniels about selling it off the indictment.

‘No, I think it’s funny a store made those for me to sell, so I put them on my site,’ she says.

Necheles asks if she’s making $40 off them, Daniels says no, she’s making $7.

Lawyer brings up Stormy Daniels tweet she would ‘flush the orange turd down’

Trump’s defense lawyer Susan Necheles is asking Stormy Daniels about her trying to take Donald Trump down.

She shows a March 27 tweet from Daniels in which she retweets a post that calls her a toilet.

Daniels wrote: ‘Exactly! Making me the best person to flush the orange turd down.’

Daniels notes the person she retweeted was calling her a human toilet ‘so I capitalized on the joke.’

She tells Necheles she put words in her mouth about being ‘instrumental or jail.’

‘You weren’t saying you were going to be instrumental in causing him to be convicted of a crime?’ Necheles asks.

Recent photos of infamous adult film actress Stormy Daniels from her Instagram page.

‘No,’ Daniels says. She says ‘someone calls me a toilet, I’m pretty sure I can say I can flush somebody.’

Necheles asks her if she knows what she meant when she said ‘orange turd.’

Daniels responds that she is making her own assumption as to who it is. The court laughs.

Eventually, Daniels says ‘I absolutely meant Mr. Trump.’

She claims she responds to hundreds of tweets that attack her.

Daniels is grilled about her strip club tour called Make America Horny Again

Stormy Daniels told the court she hated the name of her strip club tour: ‘Make America Horny Again’.

Necheles is asking Daniels about the advertising for the tour, specifically with a photo of Daniels and Trump from the golf course meeting.

Daniels claimed she fought ‘tooth and nail’ to change the name as Necheles suggested she was trying to capitalize on the affair story.

Stormy Daniels appears less nervous in court

From Sarah Ewall-Wice, Senior U.S. Political Reporter in court:

Stormy Daniels appears much less nervous in court today.

She is speaking calmly and more slowly than she had been speaking on Tuesday.

Her tone is measured and she is taking pauses at times before responding to questions in cross-examination.

It comes after she was asked to slow down numerous times in court on Tuesday.

Legal experts told DailyMail.com that a nervous witness can be a challenge for lawyers to question because they either do not speak at all or share much more than what is asked. Neither is ideal.

(FILES) Adult film star Stormy Daniels poses and signs autographs at Chi Chi Larue's adult entertainment store May 23, 2018 in West Hollywood, California. Donald Trump goes on trial on April 15, 2024 for allegedly covering up hush money payments to hide affairs ahead of the 2016 presidential election which propelled him into the White House. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

Daniels says she never wanted to publicly announce she had sex with Trump

Trump attorney Susan Necheles, who is cross-examining Stormy Daniels, asks her if she wanted to publicly announce she had sex with Trump.

‘No. Nobody would ever want to publicly say that. I wanted to publicly defend myself,’ Daniels said

Lawyer Keith Davidson audio played in court

While discussing payment for her story, Trump’s defense plays audio of Stormy Daniels’ former lawyer Keith Davidson speaking about selling Daniels story.

It’s audio of Davidson speaking to Michael Cohen on his podcast.

In the audio, Davidson recalls Daniels telling him in 2016 if Trump loses ‘we lose all our leverage.’

He claims she told him ‘settle this f***ing case.’

Davidson says he was ‘bullied and pushed’ into settling the case.

In court, Daniels responds to the audio that she never ‘railed at Keith Davidson on the phone.’

‘This says Gina’s boyfriend was going to tell the story. That was a threat from Keith Davidson,’ Daniels says.

Stormy Daniels statement denying affair in 2018 is shown

Susan Necheles is walking through a statement Stormy Daniels signed in January 2018 denying they ever had an affair.

It happened around the same time the Wall Street Journal article was coming out.

Defense lawyer grills Stormy Daniels about trying to sell her story

Susan Necheles is asking Stormy Daniels a series of questions about trying to sell her story before the 2016 election.

‘I never asked for money from anyone in particular, I asked for money to tell my story,’ Daniels says.

She claims she was ‘asking to sell my story to publications to get the truth out.’

Necheles suggests she could have done it with a press conference.

‘I could have,’ Daniels says. She adds that she ‘chose to be safe.’

‘You chose to make money?’ Necheles says.

Daniels says she chose to take a nondisclosure agreement.

Necheles has brought up conversations Daniels had with a Slate reporter who tried to convince her to let him publish her story.

Daniels says it was backup if the nondisclosure agreement fell through.

Daniels also says the nondisclosure agreement was a ‘better alternative.’

She claims it would have protected her story with a paper trail.

Necheles says if the story came out there would have been a paper trail.

Daniels says it would have ‘with a target on my back and my family’s.’

She called the nondisclosure agreement a ‘perfect solution.’

Necheles asks if the motivation to go public also was to hurt Trump politically for his ‘newfound’ opposition to abortion and gay marriage saying she wanted money or would hurt him?

‘No,’ Daniels says.

Who is seated in court for Donald Trump today?

From Rob Crilly, Senior U.S. Political Reporter in the courtroom:

Donald Trump arrived in the courtroom at 9:25 a.m. ET with a bigger retinue than any other day.

Florida Senator Rick Scott took a seat in the row behind the defendant, with Trump’s attorney Alina Habba.

Natalie Harp is in her usual seat in the second row next to the aisle.

As Trump entered, Newsmax host Greg Kelly stood up in the public gallery, wished him luck and flashed a thumbs up. He was quickly ordered to sit down.

Real estate investor Steve Witkoff is also in Trump’s small group of supporters.

Former President Donald Trump speaks to reporters at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York, Thursday, May 9, 2024. (Angela Weiss/Pool Photo via AP)
13159469 Rick Scott says he will run to replace Mitch McConnell as top Senate Republican one day after meeting with Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago. 13159469 Rick Scott says he will run to replace Mitch McConnell as top Senate Republican one day after meeting with Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago

Cross examination of Stormy Daniels resumes

Donald Trump’s defense lawyer Susan Necheles is questioning the witness.

She has pulled up communications about Daniels attempting to sell her story in 2016.

Judge rejects bringing up Stormy Daniels’ 2009 arrest in court

Prosecutors ask the judge to block an arrest of Stormy Daniels from being submitted into evidence.

The arrest did not result in charges nor a conviction for assault. Therefore, Judge Merchan says it cannot be brought up.

Trump’s defense lawyer Susan Necheles says she would like to ask about Daniels’ husband accusing her of assault and the prosecutors object that anyone can make an accusation.

The judge rejects it being brought up.

He says it was ‘not probative of anything’ as the case went nowhere and Daniels was not convicted.

FILE PHOTO: Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, the porn film star who said she had an affair with Donald Trump before he became U.S. president, is shown in this booking photo released by Franklin County Sheriff's Office, Columbus, Ohio, U.S., July 12, 2018.  Courtesy Franklin County Sheriff's Office/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo   ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. THIS PICTURE WAS PROCESSED BY REUTERS TO ENHANCE QUALITY./File Photo

Ted Cruz says America shouldn’t be shocked that Trump ‘hasn’t been celibate’

Ted Cruz has issued an unusual defense of Donald Trump amid Stormy Daniels’ salacious testimony.

The Republican Texas senator said people should not be shocked that Donald Trump has not been ‘celibate’.

Cruz said:

By the way, the testimony of Stormy Daniels that was salacious – that was the point of it! Listen there is no person on planet Earth that believes Donald Trump has been celibate all his life. That is not news.

But they want to drag him through the gutter because this is a political smear job. It’s not about the rule of law. It’s tragic what’s happening because the rule of law is important. It protects all of us. This is what banana republics do.”

Donald Trump speaks to reporters before heading into court

Donald Trump spoke to reporters before entering the courtroom on Thursday morning.

The ex-president blasted the case against him.

He was joined by lawyer Todd Blanche.

Also with Trump in court today is Florida Senator Rick Scott, adviser Boris Epshteyn and lawyer Alina Habba.

Former US President Donald Trump speaks to the press before his trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments linked to extramarital affairs, at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City, on May 9, 2024. X-rated film actress Stormy Daniels is to return to the witness stand on Thursday at Trump's hush money trial for another round of expected tough grilling by attorneys for the former president.     ANGELA WEISS/Pool via REUTERS
Former US President Donald Trump, with lawyer Todd Blanche (R), speaks to the press before his trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments linked to extramarital affairs, at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City, on May 9, 2024. X-rated film actress Stormy Daniels is to return to the witness stand on Thursday at Trump's hush money trial for another round of expected tough grilling by attorneys for the former president.     ANGELA WEISS/Pool via REUTERS

No more photographs of Trump from the courtroom?

A court officer told photographers in the hallway that Judge Merchan is no longer allowing photography in the courtroom for the rest of the trial.

Photographers had been allowed to take photos of Donald Trump at the start of the day from the front of the courtroom but from nowhere else.

Someone reportedly violated the order by taking a photograph from the aisle while walking to the front of the court.

Photographers are limited to taking photographs from the hallway only when Trump enters and exits.

Here is an example from May 7 of the photography that previously had been permitted:

Former US President Donald Trump attends his trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments linked to extramarital affairs, at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City, on May 7, 2024. Stormy Daniels, the porn actress at the heart of  Trump's hush money trial, was due to testify against the ex-president May 7, US media said, in a blockbuster moment in the courtroom drama rocking the scandal-plagued Republican's attempt to recapture the White House. (Photo by Win McNamee / POOL / AFP) (Photo by WIN MCNAMEE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Donald Trump departs Trump Tower to head to court

Donald Trump departed Trump Tower to head to the Manhattan criminal court.

The ex-president waved before heading to his motorcade.

Former US president and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump leaves Trump Tower to attend his trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments linked to extramarital affairs in New York, on May 9, 2024. X-rated film actress Stormy Daniels is to return to the witness stand on Thursday at Trump's hush money trial for another round of expected tough grilling by attorneys for the former president. (Photo by Charly TRIBALLEAU / AFP) (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images)

Is Biden watching the Trump trial?

President Joe Biden is watching the news coverage of Donald Trump’s hush-money trial.

‘Only on the evening news,’ he told CNN’s Erin Burnett in an interview that aired on Wednesday night.

He also used one of his favorite phrases to indicate he’s praying for his Republican rival.

‘God love him,’ Biden said.

Biden has been hitting the campaign trail while Trump has been stuck in a New York City courtroom four days a week.

Stormy Daniels arrives in court ready to take the stand again

Stormy Daniels walked into the Manhattan Criminal Court early on Thursday morning to prepare to take the stand in the hush money trial for the second time.

She was surrounded by law enforcement and had her glasses on her head as was guided into the court complex.

epa11328845 Stormy Daniels (C), arrives to New York State Supreme Court to continue her testimony in the ongoing criminal trial of former US President Donald Trump in New York, New York, USA, 09 May 2024. Trump is on trial for 34 felony counts of falsifying business records related to alleged hush money payments made to Daniels during his 2016 presidential campaign.  EPA/JUSTIN LANE
epa11328854 Stormy Daniels (C), arrives to New York State Supreme Court to continue her testimony in the ongoing criminal trial of former US President Donald Trump in New York, New York, USA, 09 May 2024. Trump is on trial for 34 felony counts of falsifying business records related to alleged hush money payments made to Daniels during his 2016 presidential campaign.  EPA/JUSTIN LANE
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 09: Stormy Daniels arrives at Manhattan Criminal Court on May 09, 2024 in New York City. Stormy Daniels, whose sexual encounter with Trump is at the center of this case, returns to the stand today to continue her testimony in former U.S. President Donald Trump's hush money trial. Former President Trump 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)

What is Melania doing during Stormy Daniels’ testimony?

From Emily Goodin, Senior Political Reporter:

Melania Trump is believed to be in Mar-a-Lago as Stormy Daniels took the stand in the Donald Trump hush money trial.

As Daniels was describing her sexual encounter with the former president, the former first lady has remained behind closed doors of the Trumps’ private club in Palm Beach.

She is preparing for the couple’s son Barron to graduate from high school on Friday, May 17th. And she’s been selling a gold flower pendant in honor of Mother’s Day that can be customized with a person’s initials.

Barron attends a high school in Palm Beach, which is the main residence of his parents. The Trumps have not announced where he will go to college.

Melania hasn’t been seen by Donald Trump’s side in 31 days, since she joined him at a fundraiser for his presidential campaign on April 6th.

She was last seen when she hosted a fundraiser for Log Cabin Republicans at Mar-a-Lago on April 20th.

The event was closed to press coverage but former Trump administration official Richard Grenell, who is openly gay, posted photos on social media of him and the former first lady hosting the gathering.

Melania is reported to be reading coverage of the New York trial even though she is said to consider it her husband’s problem.

When the news of Donald Trump’s affair with Daniels – which he denies – originally broke in 2017, the then-first lady was said to be blindsided and furious with her husband.

(FILES) Outgoing First Lady Melania Trump listens as her husband outgoing US President Donald Trump addresses guests at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on January 20, 2021. Extremely discreet in the White House and even more reserved since leaving Washington, Melania Trump is keeping observers guessing whether she will appear, however warily, on the campaign trail alongside her husband. Aloof and enigmatic, the Slovenian-born former model has been noticeably absent as husband Donald Trump makes his third bid for the White House. (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN / AFP) (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Tuesday’s Trump trial began with salacious claims by Stormy Daniels about spanking and bedding the future president in a Lake Tahoe hotel room – but ended with demands for a mistrial and claims she was fabricating sex claims out of greed and spite.

The porn star revealed new details about the alleged 2006 hookup while speaking under oath during a criminal trial with Trump seated just feet from the witness stand, including repeating her claim about swatting the future 45th president’s behind.

It was a dramatic performance where she shared intimate details about their banter inside a a Nevada hotel suite, even as judge Juan Merchan yielded to defense lawyers’ request that she keep sexual details to a minimum. (Her mention of the word ‘missionary’ drew an immediate objection).

Huge crowds line up to watch Act 2 of the Stormy show

Hundreds of people lined up at the Manhattan Criminal Court on Thursday morning to see the second act of the Stormy Daniels show.

Cops closed the gate to the park as hordes showed up hoping to get a space to watch her testimony continue.

When Stormy Daniels took the stand in Donald Trump’s hush money case, her salacious testimony was a lewd story of unwanted, unprotected, blackout missionary sex nearly 20 years ago with a married celebrity who would go on to run for and become President of the United States.

Trump, now the  2024 presumptive Republican presidential nominee, is facing 34 criminal charges for falsifying business records for allegedly trying to hide the payment to Daniels before the 2016 election.

Legal experts believe Stormy Daniels’ detailed testimony should not have been allowed and actually damaged the prosecution case despite her being an important witness in supporting their theory that there was an effort to violate election law.

Read more below

The atmosphere inside courtroom 1530 was already electric. A brooding Donald Trump glared out at the ranks of press as if to gauge the size of his audience before prosecutors and defense lawyers haggled over how much of the mechanics of his alleged affair could be brought up before the jury.

Only no-one had reckoned with the way porn star Stormy Daniels would become a runaway witness as she described their 2006 hotel encounter.

‘I had my clothes and my shoes off. I believe my bra however was still on. We were in the missionary position,’ Daniels said.

Read the full account of Daniels’ testimony below.

Welcome to DailyMail.com’s live coverage of the Trump trial as Stormy Daniels returns to the stand

Her allegations and claims against Trump, which he has furiously denied, led to the defense asking for multiple objections and demanding a mistrial.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JANUARY 26:  Adult film actress/director Stormy Daniels attends the 2019 Adult Video News Awards at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on January 26, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) 7695149

TOP STORIES