Silk pyjamas, car park 'threats' and an NDA: Stormy Daniels testifies at Trump's hush money trial

Speaking from the stand, adult film star Daniels said she met Trump at a golf tournament in 2006, ITV News US Correspondent Dan Rivers reports

Adult film star Stormy Daniels took to the stand on Tuesday to testify against Donald Trump in his ongoing hush money trial in New York.

Trump is facing 34 counts of falsifying business documents related to the repayment of his attorney Michael Cohen for payments made shortly before the 2016 election to cover up Trump’s alleged affair with Daniels. Trump has pleaded not guilty and denied the affair.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, claims she had a one-night stand with Trump in 2006. The controversy surfaced in January 2018, when the Wall Street Journal reported on the $130,000 (£104,000) payment.

Prosecutors have alleged that Trump sought to undermine the integrity of the 2016 election by suppressing negative information that would hurt his campaign.

Key takeaways from Daniels testimony against Trump

Daniels has testified in detail about her first encounter with Donald Trump once the two were in a hotel room at a celebrity golf tournament:

  • Trump wore silk pyjamas: Daniels said when she entered the hotel room, Trump was inside in silk pyjamas.

  • Trump posing on bed: After attempting to call a friend in the bathroom, Daniels said she was “startled” when she saw Trump posing on the bed in a t-shirt and boxers. "At first I was just startled, like a jump scare. I wasn’t expecting someone to be there," she added.

  • Sexual engagement: “He stood up between me and the door. Not in a threatening manner. He didn’t come at me, he didn’t rush at me. Nothing like that," Daniels said. She explained she remembered her clothes being off - but not how that happened - before they engaged in sexual intercourse. Daniels testified that she left "as fast as I could".

  • No confidentiality concerns: Daniels said Trump did not express concern about his wife, Melania, nor did he ask Daniels to keep the encounter confidential.

  • Post-encounter: Daniels testified that she began to speak with Trump often, at times once a week. She said Trump started calling her “honey bunch,” which she described as “weird.”

  • Trump and Daniels meet several times after: Daniels said she met with Trump several times throughout 2007 with the motive of appearing on Celebrity Apprentice. On separate occasions he kissed her and "tried to make sexual advances" but after he confirmed he could not get her on the programme they never saw each other again.

  • Daniels threatened in 2011: Daniels said she was approached by a man in the parking lot of a shopping center in Las Vegas in June 2011 when she was with her child. "He approached me and threatened me not to continue to tell my story," Daniels said adding that she was "scared."

  • Daniels motivated to sell story: In 2016, her then-publicist Gina Rodriguez' focus was to sell her story to news outlets, Daniels claims. "My motivation wasn’t money. It was to get the story out," she said.

  • Cohen and Trump interested in pay-out: "They were interested in paying for the story," Daniels said of Cohen and Trump. "Which was the best thing that could've happened... "because then I'd be safe and the story wouldn't come out," she testified.

  • Trump and Cohen offered her $130,000, Daniels said, "I didn’t care about the amount," she said, adding that at the time, her financial situation was "the best its ever been." She said the agreement - made in October 2016 - was a nondisclosure agreement, and that Trump was the beneficiary of the NDA.

Former US president Donald Trump. Credit: AP

Trump's lawyer Todd Blanche called the testimony 'prejudicial' and said it "run[s] the very high risk of the jury not being able to focus on the evidence that actually does matter".

Meanwhile, prosecutor Susan Hoffinger says the story that Daniels told was necessary to show Trump's motive and "is an exhibit, if you would, of what Mr Trump" didn’t want to get disclosed.

In a since deleted post on social media channel Truth Social, Trump wrote - prior to the opening of the court session on Thursday - that he was "told who the witness is today".

He wrote: "This is unprecedented, no time for lawyers to prepare. No Judge has ever run a trial in such a biased and partisan way. He is CROOKED and HIGHLY CONFLICTED even taking away my First Amendment rights."

Earlier this year, Daniels shared in a documentary released last month that she accepted the payment to keep the affair from becoming public to protect her husband and daughter.

Trump’s attorneys subsequently used the documentary’s release to try to bar Daniels from testifying and argued that it should be grounds to dismiss the indictment or delay the trial but both challenge were unsuccessful.

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