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Trump trial live updates: Stormy Daniels reacts to suggestion she was faking Trump sex story

Written by on May 9, 2024

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(NEW YORK) — Former President Donald Trump is on trial in New York City, where he is facing felony charges related to a 2016 hush money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. It marks the first time in history that a former U.S. president has been tried on criminal charges.

Trump last April pleaded not guilty to a 34-count indictment charging him with falsifying business records in connection with a hush money payment his then-attorney Michael Cohen made to Daniels in order to boost his electoral prospects in the 2016 presidential election.

Here’s how the news is developing:

May 09, 12:24 PM
Daniels says she’s been telling the truth about Trump

“Have you been telling lies about Mr. Trump or the truth about Mr. Trump?” prosecutor Susan Hoffinger asked Stormy Daniels.

Daniels answered, “The truth,” and she said it has cost her.

“I’ve had to hire security, take extra precautions for my daughter, move my daughter to a safe place to live, move a couple times,” she said.

Hoffinger concluded her redirect examination with this question: “On balance, has your publicly telling the truth about your experiences with Mr. Trump been net positive, or net negative?”

“Negative,” Daniels answered.

May 09, 12:19 PM
Prosecutors display social posts disparaging Daniels

Prosecutors showed the jury disparaging tweets posted about Daniels, including one that said, “Good luck walking down the street after this.”

“Are these two tweets examples of some of the tweets that you have received … in relation to things you have said publicly about Mr. Trump?,” Hoffinger asked.

“Yes. These are tame actually,” Daniels responded.

May 09, 12:15 PM
Daniels addresses questions from cross-examination

Prosecutor Susan Hoffinger asked Daniels about some of the topics from Daniels’ cross-examination.

Daniels, under questioning, said that her 2011 InTouch magazine interview – which defense attorney Susan Necheles used to highlight some inconsistencies in Daniels’ story about her alleged sexual encounter with Trump — was edited by the publication.

Hoffinger also asked Daniels about her interview with “60 Minutes.”

“You didn’t tell every single detail to Anderson Cooper, did you?” Hoffinger asked.

“No,” Daniels responded.

May 09, 12:06 PM
Prosecutors begin Daniels’ redirect examination

Following the conclusion of defense attorney Susan Necheles’ cross-examination of Stormy Daniels, prosecutor Susan Hoffinger returned to the lectern for her redirect examination.

Hoffinger began her questions by asking Daniels to clarify why she wanted to go public with her allegations in 2016.

“You are safer hiding in plain sight,” Daniels said. “Something won’t happen to you if everyone is looking at you.”

May 09, 11:59 AM
Defense seeks to distance Trump from nondisclosure

In her cross-examination of Stormy Daniels, defense attorney Susan Necheles sought to distance Donald Trump from the nondisclosure agreement Daniels signed.

“You have no personal knowledge of his involvement in that [agreement] and what he did and didn’t do?” Necheles asked.

“Not directly,” Daniels said.

Necheles also emphasized that Daniels had nothing to do with the crux of the case, which is how the payment to her was labeled on Trump’s business records.

“And you know nothing about Trump’s business records, right?” Necheles asked.

“I know nothing about his business records, no.” Daniels responded. “Why would I?”

Daniels seemed to suggest she wasn’t entirely clear on the substance of the charges against Trump in this case — leading to a jab against the former president.

“You have no knowledge of what he’s indicted for?” Necheles asked.

“There are a lot of indictments,” Daniels responded.

The judge declined to strike that statement.

May 09, 11:51 AM
Daniels returns to the stand following break

Trump reentered the courtroom after the break and returned to the defense table. Before he sat, he turned around to scan the room.

Defense attorney Susan Necheles entered in front of him, smiling.

Trump then conferred with Necheles at the defense table, whispering into her ear as she nodded in agreement.

As Daniels walked by him to the witness stand, he turned to his left to confer with attorney Todd Blanche, facing away from her.

May 09, 11:35 AM
Trump gives fist-pump to reporters

Former President Trump gave a fist-pump as he exited the courtroom for the mid-morning break.

He did not address reporters on his way out .

May 09, 11:26 AM
‘It hasn’t changed,’ Daniels says of her story

Defense attorney Susan Necheles is continuing to try to find inconsistencies in the stories Daniels has previously told about her alleged sexual encounter with Trump, but Daniels, on the stand, has remained steadfast.

“Your story has completely changed, hasn’t it?” Necheles asked her at one point.

“No!” Daniels shouted into the microphone. “Not at all. You are trying to make me say that it changed, but it hasn’t changed.”

Several jurors, watching the exchange, looked like they were watching a tennis match, with their heads and eyes shifting back and forth.

The judge subsequently called for the mid-morning break.

As Necheles returned to the defense table, Trump gave her a pat on the waist, seemingly in approval. She nodded back to him.

Daniels smiled at prosecutors as she left the stand.

May 09, 11:14 AM
Defense questions Daniels about feeling lightheaded

In Susan Necheles’ first sustained effort to call into question Stormy Daniels’ story of the alleged sexual encounter, which her client has steadfastly denied for years, the defense attorney turned to the details of what happened when Daniels says she exited the bathroom of Trump’s suite and saw Trump in his underwear.

Necheles attempted to cast doubt on Daniels’ account of feeling light-headed — highlighting her experience working with naked men in the adult film industry.

“But according to you, seeing a man on a bed in a T-shirt and boxer shorts was so upsetting that you got light-headed, the blood left your hands and feet, and you almost fainted?” Necheles asked.

Daniels responded by highlighting Trump’s age, telling jurors she did not expect to find Trump undressed, and emphasizing the power imbalance in the room.

May 09, 11:05 AM
Defense asks Daniels if she and Trump ate dinner

Defense attorney Susan Necheles pressed Daniels on whether she and Trump had dinner during their time in his suite.

According to Necheles, Daniels told InTouch magazine in 2011 and Anderson Cooper in 2018 that she “had dinner” with Trump.

During Daniels’ testimony on Tuesday, Daniels said she never ate food during the interaction with Trump.

“I maintain that I didn’t see any food,” Daniels said today. “My story is the same … it was dinner, but we never got any food.”

Daniels alleged that Necheles was cherry-picking her past statements to falsely suggest her testimony was inconsistent.

“You are showing me one sentence of an entire conservation,” Daniels told Necheles.

“Your words don’t mean what you say, do they?” Necheles said.

Daniels’ posture during this exchange belied her confrontational tone with Necheles. She reclined in her seat, leaning slightly on her right elbow in a relaxed way. Her body was oriented toward the jury even as her face and eyes were turned to Necheles, periodically using hand gestures to emphasize a point.

Trump, meanwhile, remained sitting back in his chair, listening to much of Daniels’ testimony with his eyes closed.

May 09, 10:56 AM
Defense presses Daniels on details of her story

Defense attorney Susan Necheles turned her focus to the alleged sexual encounter between Trump and Stormy Daniels in 2006.

Necheles recounted the details of the golf tournament where Daniels said she and Trump met in Lake Tahoe, California, asking Daniels to confirm each part of the story.

Necheles homed in on an apparent inconsistency between Daniels’ testimony on Tuesday and her description of the encounter to InTouch magazine in 2011.

“This is a totally different story than you told in 2011?” Necheles said.

“No,” Daniels responded.

According to Necheles, Daniels told InTouch that Trump kept looking at her when they first met on the golf course and that he offered to take her out to dinner.

On Tuesday, Daniels testified that her interaction with Trump on the course was brief and said that Trump’s bodyguard extended the dinner invite on behalf of Trump.
 

May 09, 10:48 AM
Defense suggests Daniels has experience with ‘phony stories’

Jurors saw photos of some of the merchandise Stormy Daniels sells on her online store, including T-shirts, comic books and a “Stormy Saint of Indictments candle.”

Defense attorney Susan Necheles used the line of questioning to again suggest that Daniels makes a “large part of her livelihood” by selling the story about her alleged affair with Trump.

Necheles suggested Daniels is well-practiced in making up stories about sex, pointing to her career in adult films.

“You have a lot of experience of making phony stories about sex appear to be real?” Necheles asked.

“The sex in the films is very real, just like what happened to me in that room,” Daniels responded, adding that if she were to fictionalize her encounter with Trump, she “would have written it to be a lot better.”

Trump attorney Todd Blanche let out a chuckle at one point when Daniels, in referring to the sex in adult films, said, “I think we all know how to do that.”
 

May 09, 10:44 AM
Defense questions Daniels about her recent social posts

“Isn’t it a fact that you keep posting on social media that you would be instrumental in putting President Trump in jail?” defense attorney Susan Necheles asked Stormy Daniels.

“Show me where I say I would be instrumental in putting President Trump in jail,” Daniels replied.

Necheles displayed for the court a social media post Daniels made responding to a message calling her a “TOILET,” that read: “”Exactly! Making me the best person to flush the orange turn down.”

“I don’t see the word ‘instrumental’ or ‘jail,'” Daniels said. “You’re putting words in my mouth.”

Daniels explained the joke, citing the reference to a “toilet” as her predicate for using the “orange turd” expression: “See how that works?”

Asked what she meant by “orange turd,” Daniels said: “I don’t know what I meant … I’m also not a toilet.”

Trump, at the defense table, put his elbows back on the table and leaned into the monitor in front of him as it displayed another post in which Daniels says she celebrated his indictment.

“You are drinking champagne because you are celebrating that Trump was indicted?” Nechelss asked Daniels.

“Yes,” Daniels responded.

Trump visibly shook his head no.

May 09, 10:38 AM
Testimony turns combative as Daniels is pressed on social posts

Defense attorney Susan Necheles turned the topic of her cross-examination to Stormy Daniels’ recent social media posts related to the trial.

Jurors saw a March 2024 post on X where Daniels said she was the “best person to flush the orange turd down.”

Pressed by Necheles, Daniels initially refused to confirm if she was referring to Donald Trump in that post.

The questioning turned combative and Daniels appeared to get defensive.

“If they want to make fun of me, I can make fun of them,” Daniels said.

Daniels later relented, telling Necheles that she referenced Trump in the tweet.

“I absolutely meant Donald Trump,” Daniels admitted.

May 09, 10:32 AM
Defense suggests Daniels profited off the publicity

Prosecutors sought to paint Stormy Daniels as someone who profited off the publicity she generated from her alleged sexual encounter with Donald Trump — pressing her on a CNN interview, a book deal, a strip tour using a pun on Trump’s infamous political slogan, a reality TV show.

Defense attorney Susan Necheles said the encounter “generated a ton of publicity” for Daniels.

“Lots of bad publicity,” Daniels retorted.

“The centerpiece of your book is your story about supposedly having sex with President Trump?” Necheles asked.

“No,” she said, before acknowledging, “Sadly, I thought it was what people would turn to first.”

May 09, 10:28 AM
Daniels asked about ‘Make America Horny Again’ tour

Defense attorney Susan Necheles asked Daniels about a tour of clubs she did in 2018, which one club dubbed the “Make America Horny Again” tour.

“I did not name that tour and I fought it tooth and nail,” Daniels said. “I never used that headline — I hated it.”

Daniels pushed back against Necheles suggesting that she marketed the tour by stoking animosity towards Trump. In her book, she noted how the crowds at the tour included supportive fans who opposed Trump’s presidency.

“The climate in the clubs absolutely changed, but I was not selling myself to a particular demographic,” Daniels said. “I just did the same job I always did.”

In the courtroom, attorneys displayed an advertisement for the tour. Trump had been sitting back in his chair before the advertisement was displayed, eyes seemingly closed, but he leaned forward and stared into the monitor when it was displayed.

May 09, 10:23 AM
Defense presses Daniels on 2018 denial

Defense attorney Susan Necheles tried to distance Donald Trump from efforts to hide the Stormy Daniels story from voters by highlighting the efforts to keep it hidden in 2018.

“And he wanted you to deny it, correct?” Necheles asked about Trump in 2018.

“Yes,” Daniels said.

“And he wasn’t running for election in 2018?” Necheles asked.

“No,” Daniels said.

“He was concerned about his family, correct?” Necheles asked.

“I was never mentioned anything about his family,” Daniels responded.

“But there was nothing about his election going on then?” Necheles asked.

“No,” Daniels said.

“And you understand President Trump has a brand?” Necheles followed up.

“Yes,” Daniels responded.

May 09, 10:17 AM
Defense asks Daniels about her 2018 denial

Defense attorney Susan Necheles asked Stormy Daniels about her January 2018 denial of the sexual encounter with Trump, showing her the statement she signed that has been prepared by her then-attorney.

“To be clear, I did not write this statement,” Daniels said. “I was told I had to sign it.”

“I signed it, but I did not write it,” Daniels continued. “It was given to me and I was told I had to sign it.”

Necheles then asked Daniels a series of questions about legal language in her nondisclosure agreement.

Jurors appeared to remain engaged — but not to the extent that they were previously, when the testimony was more riveting.

One juror was sipping a glass of water, another was rubbing his eyes. Most were still jotting down notes or looking toward the witness stand.

May 09, 10:08 AM
Daniels says lawyer on call referenced someone else

Stormy Daniels testified that she didn’t recall the conversation her then-attorney Davidson referenced in the secretly recorded phone call the jury just heard.

She added that Davidson referenced what someone else — her agent Gina Rodriguez’s boyfriend — might say about the call, not her recollection of it.

“I never yelled at Keith Davidson over the phone,” Daniels said. “It sounds like a threat from Keith Davidson.”

May 09, 10:01 AM
Jurors hear secretly recorded call between Daniels’ attorney and Cohen

Jurors heard a surreptitiously recorded phone call between then-Trump attorney Michael Cohen and Stormy Daniels’ then-attorney, Keith Davidson.

“I just didn’t want you to get caught off guard, and I wanted to let you know what was going on behind the scenes,” Davidson says on the recording. “And I would not be the least bit surprised if, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if you see in the next couple of days that Gina Rodriguez’s boyfriend goes out in the media and tells the story that Stormy Daniels, you know, in the weeks prior to the election was basically yelling and screaming, and calling me a p—-.”

“Can I, can I ask you a question? Right,” says Cohen.

“No, hold on one second,” says Davidson. “I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if he comes out and says, you know what, Stormy Daniels, she wanted this money more than you can ever imagine. I remember hearing her on the phone saying, you f—— Keith Davidson. You better settle this goddamn story. Because if he loses this election, and he’s going to lose, if he loses this election we lose all f—— leverage this case is worth zero. And if that happens, I’m going to sue you because you lost this opportunity. So settle this f—— case. That’s a far cry, that’s a far cry from far cry from being, you know, bullied and pushed into settling a case.”

Trump, sitting at the defense table, appeared highly pleased with this testimony — he hunched forward over the table in leaned into the monitor on his table that displayed the transcript of the call, firmly nodding is head yes in agreement repeatedly when the tape said “we lose all f—— leverage.”

Trump then looked directly at the witness stand when Daniels responded to the tape, saying she never yelled at Davison.

May 09, 9:52 AM
Daniels said she wanted a ‘paper trail’

Stormy Daniels told defense attorney Necheles that despite the nondisclosure agreement effectively killing her story, the deal resulted in a “paper trail” that made her feel safe.

“I wanted the truth to be printed with some paper trail,” Daniels said. “With a target on my back on my family’s — it was the perfect solution.”

Necheles, who suggested on Tuesday that Daniels had been attempting to extort Trump, then resumed those efforts.

“You were threatening that you would try to hurt Trump politically if he didn’t give you money?” Necheles said.

“False,” Daniels retorted.

May 09, 9:48 AM
Daniels says she chose nondisclosure for her safety

Defense attorney Susan Necheles resumed her cross-examination of Stormy Daniels by focusing on Daniels’ motivation for selling her story ahead of the 2016 election.

Daniels previously testified that she wanted to get her story out but was afraid for her safety, so she opted instead to sign the nondisclosure with Trump and receive $130,000.

Pressed on the topic, Daniels said she initially wanted to get her story out.

“I was asking to sell my story to publications to get the truth out,” Daniels. “I wanted to do a press conference.”

Daniels added that she thought she was “running out of time” to get the story out.

“You were running out of time to get money?” Necheles asked.

“No, to get the story out,” Daniels responded.

Daniels said she opted to sign a nondisclosure agreement to prioritize her safety.

“I choose to be safe,” Daniels said.

“You choose to make money, right?” Necheles said.

“I choose to take a nondisclosure,” Daniels replied.

May 09, 9:40 AM
Stormy Daniels retakes the stand

“Good morning, Mr. Trump,” Judge Merchan said as he opened the day’s proceedings.

The judge began the morning by precluding defense lawyers from questioning Daniels about a past arrest that never resulted in a conviction.

“Anybody can be arrested,” Merchan said. “That does not prove a thing.”

Stormy Daniels entered the courtroom and took her seat on the witness stand for the defense to resume its cross-examination. Judge Merchan reminded her that she is still under oath.

Trump appeared to glance at her as she passed his counsel table.

May 09, 9:32 AM
Court is back in session

Judge Juan Merchan has taken the bench and court is back in session for Day 14 of Donald Trump’s criminal trial.

Defense attorney Susan Necheles is sitting on Trump’s right at the defense table, Todd Blanche is to his immediate left, and Emil Bove occupies the seat over.

A packed row of Trump’s supporters, including Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, occupy the first row of the gallery directly behind Trump.

May 09, 9:28 AM
Trump enters courtroom

Former President Donald Trump has entered the courtroom.

As he made his way down the isle to his seat at the defense table, a man seated on the right side of the court room stood up — something that is not allowed — and gave Trump a thumbs-up as he passed.

May 09, 9:20 AM
Prosecutors arrive in courtroom

Prosecutors have entered the courtroom.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg was not with them when they came in.

May 09, 9:15 AM
Five members of public are in court after waiting overnight

Members of the public lined up as early as 12:30 a.m. to get a spot in the courtroom to see Stormy Daniels’ testimony this morning.

Two friends who live in Brooklyn, who identified themselves as Shmuel and Levi, said their first attempt to watch the trial from the courtroom on Tuesday failed. They said they arrived at 3:30 a.m. but could only secure a spot in the overflow room, so they changed their approach this morning.

“We went back home last night … and decided to come at like 12:30 a.m.,” Shmuel told ABC News. “We figured that it would be safe.”

Both said they stayed awake while waiting overnight and appreciated the weather cooperating.

“It was really a beautiful night,” Levi said.

A total of five members of the public made it into the courtroom this morning.

May 09, 8:18 AM
Stormy Daniels arrives at courthouse

Stormy Daniels has arrived at the lower Manhattan courthouse ahead of her second day of testimony.

Proceedings are scheduled to resume at 9:30 a.m. ET.

May 09, 7:54 AM
Judge said defense’s concerns can be address on cross

On Stormy Daniels’ first day on the stand on Tuesday, her graphic testimony about her alleged 2006 sexual encounter with Trump — which Trump denies took place — prompted attorneys for the defense to seek a mistrial.

Daniels told the jury about noticing an “imbalance of power” with Trump, how she was “blacking out” and found herself nearly naked on the bed of Trump’s hotel suite, and how the two engaged in unprotected sex.

Defense attorneys for Trump argued that the testimony did enough damage to merit tossing the trial entirely on the grounds that it was prejudicial in the eyes of the jury.

Judge Juan Merchan denied the bid, saying the defense will have its say during their cross-examination — which began Tuesday and is scheduled to continue today.

May 09, 7:33 AM
Stormy Daniels to return to the witness stand

Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress whose allegations of a 2006 sexual encounter with Donald Trump prompted the hush money payment that lies at the center of the Manhattan DA’s criminal case against Trump, is scheduled to return to the witness stand this morning.

On Daniels’ first day on the stand on Tuesday, she testified that first met Trump at a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, California, and that he invited her to his hotel suite. Daniels told the jury that when she came out of the bathroom, she found Trump on the bed dressed in only his underwear and a T-shirt.

“The next thing I know, I was on the bed,” said Daniels, who then described how they had sex. Trump has denied that the two ever had a sexual encounter.

Daniels told jurors that she became afraid to go public with her story of the encounter after she was threatened by an unknown man in a Las Vegas parking lot in June 2011. She said that the 2016 offer from then-Trump attorney Michael Cohen to buy her silence for $130,000 on the eve of the 2016 election allowed her to keep the allegations private while profiting from the deal.

“They were interested in paying for the story, which was the best thing that could happen because then my husband wouldn’t find out, but there was still documentation of a money exchange and a paperwork exchange, so that I would be safe and the story wouldn’t come out,” Daniels said.

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