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Trump trial highlights: Trump's lawyer grills Stormy Daniels about motives for accepting hush money

The adult film star went into graphic detail Tuesday about her alleged sexual encounter with Donald Trump in 2006, which he denies.

What to know about the trial

  • Stormy Daniels, who received hush money to keep quiet about her allegation of a sexual encounter with Donald Trump in 2006, completed her testimony, pushing back at defense lawyers who suggested she had made the whole thing up.
  • The prosecution also called Rebecca Manochio, Allen Weisselberg's former assistant at the Trump Organization; Tracey Menzies, a publishing executive; and Madeleine Westerhout, who was Trump's executive assistant at the White House.
  • Judge Juan Merchan ruled against the defense's motion for a mistrial and against a motion to adjust the gag order. Merchan previously found Trump violated the gag order 10 times and threatened jail time for future offenses.
  • Trump faces 34 counts of falsifying business records to hide the repayment to his former lawyer Michael Cohen for the $130,000 payment to Daniels. He has denied the charges and the alleged affair.

Trump says Merchan's ruling was 'a disgrace'

In brief remarks to the media outside the courtroom, Trump railed against Judge Merchan, calling him corrupt and saying his ruling was a "disgrace."

He did not specify which ruling he was referring to. Merchan ruled against Trump's team in a motion for a mistrial, as well as a motion to adjust the gag order.

Trump said he has to get back on the campaign trail, adding, "We're so innocent, there's never been anything like it."

Judge says he struck parts of Stormy Daniels' testimony from the record

During a discussion about the defense's renewed request for a mistrial, Judge Merchan said he was surprised it didn't object to certain parts of Daniels' testimony.

Merchan cited one part when Daniels said Trump told her: "I thought we were getting somewhere, we were talking, and I thought you were serious about what you wanted. If you ever want to get out of that trailer park."

"I was offended because I never lived in a trailer park," Daniels said.

The judge said he struck that part of her testimony.

Judge denies motion for a mistrial

Judge Juan Merchan ruled against Trump's team's motion for a mistrial after Blanche walked through a series of objections to Daniels' testimony.

It was the second motion for a mistrial to be denied.

Merchan said that after the defense's mistrial motion Tuesday he went back to make sure that there were guidelines and no inconsistencies and that he came away satisfied.

Prosecutor says there weren't many questions to Stormy Daniels about sexual encounter

Steinglass is explaining why Daniels testified about certain sexual details while arguing that there were not many questions about the sexual encounter itself.

Steinglass said he is happy to file a document under seal "about some of the very salacious details that were intentionally omitted because we did not have the desire to embarrass the defendant."

In particular, he discussed Daniels' saying Trump felt like the skin of a 60-year-old, noting those comments were not elicited by prosecutors' questions.

Prosecutors say Trump can testify if he wants to rebut Stormy Daniels

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass defended Daniels' testimony and the prosecution's line of questioning, arguing that the details surrounding her alleged sexual encounter with Trump make her account more credible.

“If they want to offer testimony that the sex never happened, that’s their prerogative,” Steinglass said, saying the defense has gone to great lengths to discredit Daniels' testimony.

'A dog whistle for rape': Trump attorney bashes part of Stormy Daniels' testimony

In his request for a mistrial, Blanche said one of Daniels' answers on the stand was "a dog whistle for rape."

Blanche referred to a list of questions and answers that he said were prejudicial and unfair during Daniels' testimony. The list included an anecdote from Daniels about choosing a workplace that required adult film actors to wear condoms and later saying Trump did not wear a condom during the alleged sexual encounter with her.

"That has nothing to do with the false business record, but it’s so prejudicial. It’s a dog whistle for rape,” Blanche told the judge.

Trump lawyer renews request for a mistrial

Trump lawyer Todd Blanche has renewed his request for a mistrial.

"There is no way this case can go forward" because of Stormy Daniels' testimony over the last few days, Blanche said.

This is the second time Trump's lawyers have requested a mistrial.

Blanche is going through Daniels' testimony and citing each part he finds problematic.

Judge denies motion to adjust Trump's gag order

Judge Juan Merchan has denied a request by Trump's team's to alter the gag order.

Merchan has previously ruled that Trump violated the gag order 10 times, fining Trump a total of $10,000 and threatening him with jail time for any future violations.

Prosecutor on Trump gag order request: 'Let’s not pretend he wants to engage in high-minded discourse'

Chris Conroy, one of the prosecutors, told the judge that modifying the gag order would risk the integrity of the trial.

"Let’s not pretend [Trump] wants to engage in high-minded discourse," Conroy said.

His remarks come after Trump's attorneys requested that the gag order be lifted just in regard to Stormy Daniels, who was on the stand for two days this week.

Trump lawyer asks for gag order exemption to allow Trump to respond to Stormy Daniels

Adam Reiss

Rebecca Shabadis in Washington, D.C.

Adam Reiss and Rebecca Shabad

Trump attorney Todd Blanche asked Judge Merchan to allow an exemption to the gag order so that Trump could respond publicly to Stormy Daniels' testimony.

"We ask that President Trump be allowed to respond publicly," Blanche said. “It cannot be that he cannot respond to that, now that she’s off the stand.”

Karen McDougal will not testify, Trump lawyer says

Adam Reiss

Adam Reiss and Megan Lebowitz

Karen McDougal, who said she had a sexual encounter with Trump, will no longer be called by prosecutors to testify, Trump's lawyer Todd Blanche said this afternoon in court.

Blanche said the district attorney's office informed him that she would not take the stand.

McDougal, a former Playboy model, allegedly had her story about the claimed encounter bought by the National Enquirer.

Witnesses and jury are done for the day, but lawyers to argue legal motions

The jury has been sent home, returning tomorrow. But the lawyers remain, and the defense is expected to present more motions, including their opposition to Stormy Daniels' testimony.

Trump's attorney takes gentler approach with Madeleine Westerhout

Susan Necheles’ gentleness with Westerhout — a young woman who simply made a mistake in her job as Trump's assistant at the White House — is in notable contrast to her harsher tone with Daniels, who was 27 at the time of her alleged sexual encounter with Trump.

Westerhout was fired from the White House at age 28 after bragging about her close relationship with Trump and publicly sharing information about his relationship with his daughters.

Westerhout has become the closest thing Trump has had to a character witness. In contrast to Daniels, who portrayed him as predatorial, Westerhout paints a picture of him as a benevolent, generous family man.

Former Trump assistant said she made a decision to buy a Tiffany's frame for his desk

Prosecutor Rebecca Mangold asked whether Madeleine Westerhout remembers asking Trump about whether he wanted to spend $650 for a Tiffany’s frame for his desk.

“It was a photo of what I remember to be his mother, so he wanted a nice frame," Westerhout told Rhona Graff of the frame's purpose.

She also told Graff in an email that Trump had mentioned a Tiffany's frame despite Graff noting the high price. Westerhout testified, “I may have made the executive decision without his approval. Sorry, sir.”

Crying on the stand, Madeleine Westerhout struggles to get through testimony

Trump's former assistant at the White House began crying on the stand during her testimony after prosecutors asked her to describe Trump and the former first lady's relationship.

Westerhout struggled to get through her testimony and at one point was asked if she needed a minute. "I'm OK," she said through tears.

She said that her 2020 book, "Off the Record: My Dream Job at the White House, How I Lost It, and What I Learned," was intended to detail what she had learned after losing her job at the White House, and also to offer a portrayal of Trump as she knew him.

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

Westerhout said that occasionally the former president told her to call Melania Trump to let her know he was running late. The comment elicited a smile in the courtroom from Trump.

Trump signed off on over $6K in annual dues to Winged Foot Golf Club

Westerhout, Trump's former executive assistant, testified that Trump personally signed off on checks to Winged Foot Golf Club, where annual dues topped $6,000.

In an exhibit presented by the prosecution, Trump's executive assistant from the Trump Organization, Rhona Graff, wrote, "Dear Mr. President, if winged foot will allow me to suspend your membership for 4–8 years, do you want me to look into it or do you want to continue paying annual dues and the food minimum? — RG."

Trump's handwriting also appears on the invoice, where he wrote, "PAY" and "ASAP OK."

"I believe Rhona was asking him if he wanted to suspend his membership," which he wouldn't have been able to use while president, Westerhout said, "This was included in his stack of checks, so I passed it along in the sense that I gave him this note.”

Stormy Daniels leaves Manhattan criminal court.

Stormy Daniels is photographed leaving the courthouse.

Stormy Daniels.
Stormy Daniels on Thursday.Charly Triballeau / AFP - Getty Images

Email shows Trump assistant sent photos of him boarding Air Force One to Allen Weisselberg

Adam Reiss

Rebecca Shabadis in Washington, D.C.

Adam Reiss and Rebecca Shabad

Prosecutor Rebecca Mangold entered into evidence an email from Madeleine Westerhout to Rhona Graff that was a photo of Trump boarding Air Force One for the first time, published by The New York Times.

The email said that Trump sent the photo to his family and asked Graff to send it to Allen Weisselberg too.

Westerhout said Trump "wanted Alan to see it as well. First time boarding Air Force One!”

Madeleine Westerhout testifies that she texted Hope Hicks about David Pecker

Westerhout testified that she recalls texting Hope Hicks about David Pecker in 2017, but she has no recollection of talking with him or seeing him at the White House.

On March 20, Westerhout texted Hicks, “Hey — the president wants to know if you called David Pecker again?” but Westerhout testified that she didn't remember what year that text was from.

Former Trump aide asked about email on Michael Cohen visiting the White House

Adam Reiss

Adam Reiss and Zoë Richards

Prosecutor Rebecca Mangold asked Madeleine Westerhout if Michael Cohen came to the White House in 2017, and she said she believed he had.

Prosecutors then displayed an email from Westerhout to Cohen that appeared to show her confirming details to get him into the White House.

“Mr. Cohen was coming in to meet with the president," Westerhout said of the email exchange with Trump's lawyer, noting that while she did not specifically recall seeing Cohen at the White House, the visit did take place.

Prosecutors enters into evidence Trump's contact list

Madeleine Westerhout testified that she was in regular touch with Rhona Graff at the Trump Organization while he was president.

Prosecutor Rebecca Mangold entered into evidence a list of contacts Westerhout said Graff put together of "people he spoke to often, or might want to speak to."

The list included Fox News journalist Bret Baier, MSNBC anchors Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, Mark Burnett, Michael Cohen, Rupert Murdoch, Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, David Pecker, “SNL” executive producer Lorne Michaels, former Judge Jeanine Pirro, Allen Weisselberg and Serena Williams.

Former Trump assistant describes how he dictated tweets as president

Westerhout, Trump's former assistant at the White House, described on the stand how Trump would dictate his tweets to her and Dan Scavino, who was deputy chief of staff at the time.

She said that when Scavino wasn't available, Trump would call her into the Oval Office and dictate a tweet. She would then go back to her computer, type it up, print it out and give it back to him to look over.

"The president liked to see the tweets before they went out," Westerhout said.

Former assistant says that, as president, Trump preferred phone or in-person communication

Madeleine Westerhout testified that while he was in the White House, Trump preferred to communicate by phone or in person, starting as early as 6 a.m. and at times ending late in the evening after she went to bed.

Asked if he used computers or emailed, Westerhout said not to her knowledge. Instead, he wanted hard copies, she said.

Madeleine Westerhout refers to Trump as 'the former president'

Trump is jutting out his chin as he listens to his former aide, Westerhout, recount her time on the presidential transition and with the nascent Trump administration, where she sat in the “outer” Oval Office with other aides Hope Hicks, John McEntee and Keith Schiller.

Notably, Westerhout refers to Trump as "the former president," and Michael Cohen as “the former president’s lawyer.” Trump's lawyers continuously refer to him as "the president."

Former Trump assistant says there was talk of replacing Trump in 2016 after 'Access Hollywood' tape

Trump assistant Madeleine Westerhout said that after the release of the "Access Hollywood" tape in October 2016, there were conversations about replacing Trump as the GOP presidential nominee.

“At the time, I recall it rattling RNC leadership," she said. “There were conversations about how to — if it was needed — how it would be possible to replace him as a candidate if it came to that."

Madeleine Westerhout, former Trump White House staffer, takes the stand

Prosecutors have called Madeleine Westerhout, who was Trump's executive assistant during the beginning of his term, which is when Trump met with Cohen in the Oval Office.

Westerhout testified that during the election and the transition to the Trump administration, she worked as a greeter in Trump Tower for those who came to pay their respects and congratulate Trump.

Prosecutor presents page from book 'Trump: Think Big'

Prosecutor Rebecca Mangold presented pages from the book "Trump: Think Big" including the title page and the copyright page.

Asked whose names were next to the copyright, Menzies said Trump and Bill Zanker.

Menzies said she's familiar with the book's contents, and there is a version where Trump and Zanker used different fonts to determine which author is speaking. Mangold had Menzies read excerpts from the book.

“I used to say, 'Go out and get the best people, and trust them,'" a page from Trump said. "Over the years I have seen too many shenanigans.”

Trump continued, “I just can’t stomach disloyalty. I put the people who are loyal to me on a high pedestal and take care of them very well. I go out of my way. … This woman was very disloyal, and now I go out of my way to make her life miserable.”

“My motto is 'Always get even.' When somebody screws you, screw them back in spades," Trump wrote.

Prosecutors call Tracey Menzies

The prosecution team has called Tracey Menzies as the next witness. Menzies works at HarperCollins and is testifying as the custodian of records for the book publisher.

Former Trump Org. employee wraps testimony

Adam Reiss

After her relatively brief time on the stand, the testimony of Rebecca Manochio, Allen Weisselberg's former assistant, is complete. The bulk of her testimony was about sending checks to Trump in the White House to sign, and then receiving the checks back and processing them.

Trump motions to someone in gallery

Adam Reiss

Rebecca Shabadis in Washington, D.C.

Adam Reiss and Rebecca Shabad

Trump re-entered the courtroom with his defense team and he looked to the gallery and motioned to someone.

Testimony is resuming.

Stormy Daniels' lawyer says she did an 'excellent job' testifying

Adam Reiss

Clark Brewster, a lawyer who now represents Daniels, praised her testimony in a statement to NBC News.

“I think she was directly responsive and transparent and did an excellent job of responding directly, simply, and thoroughly and I am proud of how she conducted herself on the stand with courtesy and responsiveness," Brewster said.

"She is shaken by the ordeal and the social media and the attacks and venom that she goes through daily, and she certainly is always concerned about her safety. Both sides got a view of how bright she is and I will tell you I thought she was just outstanding in her ability to relate the facts."

Court breaks for lunch

The jury has been sent to eat lunch, but the lawyers remain in the courtroom to discuss legal motions.

Merchan then said he will send the jury home at 4 p.m. and let the lawyers discuss them afterward.

Stormy Daniels' lawyer says he 'couldn’t be prouder' of her in post on X

Rebecca Shabadis in Washington, D.C.

Stormy Daniels' lawyer Clark Brewster posted a photo with her on X, saying she was on the stand at Trump's trial for a day and a half, and ended at 12:30 p.m. ET today.

"Couldn't be prouder of my client," he said.

Keith Schiller could testify after he was mentioned by multiple witnessess

It seems increasingly likely to this ex-litigator that Keith Schiller, the former director of Oval Office operations in Trump's White House, will be a witness. Not only has he been discussed by David Pecker and Stormy Daniels, but former Trump aide Hope Hicks and longtime Trump Organization official Jeffrey McConney were asked about Schiller's function and relationship with Trump. 

Former assistant says she would send checks to the White House via FedEx

Adam Reiss and Summer Concepcion

Prosecutor Becky Mangold asked Manochio if Trump got a new job in 2017, prompting the witness to say that he did.

Mangold asked if he had to relocate for the job, which Manochio replied, “yes.”

“And what was that job?” Mangold asked.

“The president of the United States,” Manochio said.

In response to Mangold’s following questions, Mangold said Deborah Tarasoff, an accounts payable supervisor at the Trump Organization and current employee at the company, cut the checks.

Asked how she sent the checks to the White House, Manochio said she would use FedEx to deliver them about once a week.

Prosecution calls former Trump Org CFO assistant

Prosecutors have called Rebecca Manochio, Allen Weisselberg's former assistant at the Trump Organization, as the next witness. She is being questioned by Becky Mangold, who has largely examined custodial or minor witnesses.

Stormy Daniels is done testifying

Alexandra Marquezis based in Washington, D.C.

Stormy Daniels is done testifying. Her final question was about Trump calling her "horseface" and "sleazebag."

Stormy Daniels says telling the truth about Trump has been negative

Adam Reiss

Rebecca Shabadis in Washington, D.C.

Adam Reiss and Rebecca Shabad

Prosecutor Susan Hoffinger asked Stormy Daniels if on balance telling the truth about Trump has been a net positive or a net negative.

The defense team objected but the judge overruled it.

"Negative," Daniels said.

Stormy Daniels testifies that she did not appear before grand jury

Asked by Hoffinger, a prosecuting attorney, Daniels confirmed that she did not testify before the grand jury in this case and that therefore she could not be responsible for the charges. Daniels earlier had been asked by the defense if she felt responsible for the charges.

“You had nothing to do with the charges in this case initially, did you?” Hoffinger asked.

“I did not,” Daniels replied.

Analysis: Prosecutor appears to initially rehabilitate Daniels

Prosecutor Susan Hoffinger is rehabilitating Stormy Daniels, at least initially, by showing how Trump lawyer Susan Necheles showed Daniels incomplete versions of various exhibits, including the texts between her former agent Gina Rodriguez and former National Enquirer editor Dylan Howard and the InTouch article, which contains a disclaimer that it was “lightly edited.”

Hoffinger also showed two tweets that were vaguely threatening or just incredibly mean. Daniels says she was aware on Aug. 4, 2023, that Trump’s infamous “IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!” tweet was issued and that her perception was that it was directed to her because he sent it shortly after filing a lawsuit against her in Florida to collect the legal fees she owes him.

Trump lawyer didn't ask Stormy Daniels about other details and interactions with Trump

Trump lawyer Susan Necheles didn't ask questions about many of the other details Stormy Daniels shared about the night she says she and Trump had sex in his hotel suite.

Necheles, for example, didn't question that she went to the suite, that Daniels visited the bathroom, that the foyer looked the way she described, that they discussed any of the topics Daniels testified about when asked by the prosecution.

Necheles also didn't ask about her visit to Trump Tower, her attendance at the launch for Trump Vodka, her phone conversations with Trump, and her meeting him at his bungalow at the Beverly Hill Hotel.

Daniels says she took military advice to 'stay high' to avoid trouble

Adam Reiss and Summer Concepcion

Daniels testified that she took advice from her friend when it came to the nondisclosure agreement she signed. She said her friend relayed a military concept: “get high, stay high.”

“Something won’t happen to you if everyone is looking at you,” she said.

Defense completes cross-examination

Adam Reiss

The defense has completed cross-examination of Stormy Daniels. Next up should be a redirect from the prosecution.

Stormy Daniels says she last spoke to Trump in 2010, says she didn't have knowledge of Trump-Cohen arrangement

Stormy Daniels said she last spoke to Trump in 2010. Trump lawyer Susan Necheles said that that was a long time ago.

Asked to confirm that she had no personal knowledge of the deal involving Trump and Cohen, she said, "Not directly, no."

Daniels said she hated 'Make America Horny Again' slogan

Stormy Daniels testified that she fired the person who posted advertisements for what was dubbed her "Make America Horny Again" tour.

Necheles, Trump's attorney, asked whether she "hated" that name, to which Daniels replied, "Yes," adding, “At some point I fired my webmaster for posting [those posters].”

GOP Sen. Rick Scott attacks Judge Merchan's daughter during press conference

Speaking to reporters outside of the courthouse, Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., a Trump ally who attended today’s court proceedings, said what’s happening to the former president is “wrong” and claimed that he’s facing legal troubles because he’s challenging President Joe Biden in November.

Scott suggested that the hush money trial is an election interference effort by Democrats to silence Trump. The Florida senator echoed Trump’s attacks on Merchan’s daughter, who has worked for a digital fundraising and advertising firm that often works with Democratic politicians — a line of attack that led to Merchan’s decision to expand the gag order against him.

“Now let’s look at who’s involved in doing this. The lead prosecutor was the No. 3 person ... in the Biden Justice Department. The judge’s daughter is a political operative and raises money for Democrats,” he said. “You got the lead prosecutor's wife, is a significant donor to Democrats, I think to Biden. So this is just a bunch of Democrats saying we want to make sure that Donald Trump can’t talk.”

Stormy Daniels insists she felt like she had to have sex with Trump

Adam Reiss

Rebecca Shabadis in Washington, D.C.

Adam Reiss and Rebecca Shabad

Trump lawyer Susan Necheles asked Stormy Daniels whether she felt like she had to have sex with Trump.

Necheles asked Tuesday whether Daniels had testified that Trump made nasty comments and stood over her. Daniels responded that she testified that Trump — who was much taller — stood in front of her.

Necheles asked if those actions made Daniels feel like she had to have sex with him. Daniels said Trump didn't give her drugs or alcohol and he didn't have a weapon, but she still felt like she didn't have a choice.

Cross-examination of Stormy Daniels reminiscent of pre-#MeToo era

Legal trials involving disputed claims of sex have historically involved defense attorneys cross-examining survivors on the way they’ve changed their stories over time and highlighting any inconsistencies.

The first criminal trial of a former American president is no exception.

So far, Necheles, Trump's attorney, has insinuated Daniels couldn’t have been intimidated because she worked in porn and was good at making up “phony stories.” Watching this cross-examination by Susan Necheles is almost a throwback to an earlier, pre-#MeToo, time.

Defense lawyer implies porn performer wouldn't be shocked by Trump in his underwear

Adam Reiss and Summer Concepcion

Trump lawyer Susan Necheles implied during questioning that Daniels was incapable of being shocked by the sight of Trump in his underwear in the hotel room because she has worked on so many adult films.

She mentioned Daniels had had sex in over 250 porn movies, prompting Daniels to reply that she had worked on around 150 adult films.

Necheles then pressed Daniels, saying there are naked men and women having sex in those movies, but according to Daniels, seeing a man in a T-shirt and boxers was so offending that she got lightheaded and nearly fainted?

“Yes,” Daniels replied, adding that it was Trump, an older, much larger man, sitting on the bed, which she was not expecting, and the circumstances included that his bodyguard was standing outside.

"If I came out of the bathroom and it was not my husband, but Mr. Trump instead, I would probably have the same reaction.”

Stormy Daniels and Trump attorney spar over whether she ate dinner on night of affair

During a lengthy exchange about whether or not Daniels ate anything in Trump's hotel room on the night of their affair, Necheles and Daniels sparred about whether there were inconsistencies between what she said on the stand yesterday and several public interviews she did in 2018.

"I never actually got my food … that has not changed," Daniels said after she was pressed about comments she made to CNN years ago.

Daniels insisted again to Necheles later, "I had dinner in the room, but we never got any food, and we never ate anything."

Necheles seems to be trying to undercut Daniels' credibility by interrogating her on whether she ate dinner or just stayed in Trump's hotel room during dinnertime.

Defense lawyer tries to discredit Daniels' description of how Trump got her phone number

Daniels testified that she had first met Trump on the golf course and that he had asked for her number, and recalled saying that to In Touch magazine.

Trump lawyer Susan Necheles then noted that in an interview with the magazine in 2011, Daniels said it was Trump, not his bodyguard Keith Schiller specifically, who asked for her number.

Daniels said she didn’t specify who asked for her number, and that Trump and Schiller were standing together.

Necheles pressed Daniels again, saying Daniels recalled that the first time she met Trump was on the golf course, and that he kept looking at her and asked for her number.

“It was always” Trump, Daniels said.

She said later about the article in In Touch, “This is an entertainment magazine, it is very short and frivolous.”

“It was minus some details” and a short interview, she added.

Trump lawyer tells Stormy Daniels she makes 'phony stories about sex'

Trump attorney Susan Necheles asked Stormy Daniels about her experience in the adult film industry. Daniels said she directed 150 sex films "give or take."

“You have a lot of experience making phony stories about sex," Necheles said.

Daniels replied, “Wow. That’s not how I would put it. The sex in the films is very much real, just like what happened to me in that room.”

Necheles then asked Daniels if she had a lot of experience memorizing fictional stories and if she was telling a story about Trump.

“If that story was untrue, I would’ve written it to be a lot better," Daniels said.

Daniels describes other ventures: Haunted house show and tarot card readings


Alexandra Marquezis based in Washington, D.C.

Adam Reiss

Necheles, Trump's attorney, is continuing to question Stormy Daniels about her other ventures and ways in which she's made money.

In one instance, she asks Daniels about a TV show she filmed about paranormal activity in a New Orleans house.

“It was a lot of interesting and unexplained activities, so I created an entire show," Daniels said, adding, "A lot of the activity was completely debunked, as a giant possum that was under the house for instance.”

Necheles also asked about tarot card readings and related services Daniels has offered, asking, "You claimed to be able to speak with people’s dead relatives, right?"

"I make clear it’s all entertainment,” Daniels replied.

The implication is that Daniels, who now makes money as a “medium,” is a perpetual fraud.

Daniels smirks while detailing profits from merchandise she sells

Daniels, smirking, admits she sells a “Stormy, Saint of Indictments candle,” which sells for $40 each, from which she makes $7 per candle. She said they are made by a store in New Orleans, that she finds them “funny,” and that she sells them through her online store as a result.

Through all the questions about what Daniels was selling, Necheles reaches her ultimate conclusion: That a large part of her income comes from her story about Trump and her claiming credit for his legal predicament.

'Oh, I absolutely meant Mr. Trump,' Stormy Daniels says about tweet referenced by Trump lawyer

Trump lawyer Susan Necheles showed Stormy Daniels a tweet she had re-tweeted in which someone called her a "human toilet" and wrote "Exactly! Making me the best person to flush the orange turd down."

"I don't see the word instrumental or jail," Daniels said.

Daniels said it was hyperbole. Asked if she was referring to Trump, Daniels said it doesn't say that and that it was up to interpretation.

"I'm also not a toilet," Daniels added.

Necheles asked again what she meant by orange turd.

"Oh, I absolutely meant Mr. Trump," she said.

Stormy Daniels accuses Trump attorney of trying to 'trick' her

As Necheles questioned Daniels about how much money she made for a documentary film that aired on NBC's streaming platform, Peacock, Daniels alleged that Necheles was "trying to trick me into saying something that’s not entirely true."

Earlier, Necheles asked Daniels whether she was paid $120,000 for the documentary, but Daniels disputed that number, saying she was paid $100,000 for footage previously filmed, not for sitting for an interview with the documentary producers. She added that some of the money also went toward paying those who filmed parts of the eventual documentary.

Analysis: Defense tries to paint Stormy Daniels as a promiscuous person

The defense’s attempts to color Daniels as nutty and slutty is a constant. For example, they accused her of having an affair with a cameraman on her documentary while still married to someone else; that cameraman is now her husband, and she was separated at that time, Stormy insisted.

Stormy Daniels says that her book contract was for $800K

Trump lawyer Susan Necheles elicited from Stormy Daniels that her book contract, which came about after her "60 Minutes" interview, was for $800,000 and asked her whether the main reason she was paid for the book was her story about having sex with Trump.

The defense is not interrogating the details about the sexual encounter; instead, they are insinuating that Daniels is not credible because of a combination of her financial motivations, her exploitation of her own sexuality and her hatred of Trump.

She maintained she was not “selling herself to a new demographic” but was “doing the same job she always did.”

Stormy Daniels denies naming her tour 'Make America Horny Again'

Adam Reiss and Summer Concepcion

After pressing Daniels on the centerpiece of the book she wrote, Trump lawyer Susan Necheles asked her about the tour of strip clubs she went on that was dubbed “Make America Horny Again” — a play on words referencing Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

“I did not name that tour and I fought it tooth and nail,” she said.

Stormy Daniels: 'Nobody would ever want to publicly say that' they had sex with Trump


Alexandra Marquezis based in Washington, D.C.

Adam Reiss

Necheles, Trump's attorney, continued her questioning of Daniels, insinuating that "even though you had agreed that you would not discuss this supposed story and you had received a lot of money for that agreement, you then decided that you wanted to publicly say that you had sex with Donald Trump.”

Daniels answered that this was not the case, and that "nobody would ever want to publicly say that.”

She added that she felt she had to speak out after Cohen started sharing the story. Daniels also clarified that she made no money for speaking with CBS' "60 Minutes" about the story.

Cross-examination underscores defense strategy: Just seed some doubt

Ginger GibsonSenior Washington Editor

The cross-examination is a bit all over the place but the unifying strategy is there: find some holes to poke in Daniels' credibility.

The defense just spent considerable time trying to prove that Daniels had a political motive for wanting to out Trump's story, that she was trying to hurt his election bid. But wouldn't that bolster the prosecution's argument that Trump had a motive for wanting to silence her?

The defense might not care that it would seem to work in their favor — they're simply trying to mar her testimony in any way. They just need to convince one juror to not believe her.

Judge tells defense to stop wrong audio tape

Adam Reiss

Rebecca Shabadis in Washington, D.C.

Adam Reiss and Rebecca Shabad

Trump lawyer Susan Necheles tried to play a recording that was new audio between Keith Davidson and Michael Cohen.

Judge Merchan, however, stopped the audio midtape. "Please stop the tape," he said.

Necheles said the wrong audio was played by mistake. She then presented a transcript of the audio she intended to play.

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. 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****. 

Cohen: Can I, can I ask you a question? Right.

Davidson:  No, no, hold on one second, 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 fucking Keith Davidson. You better settle this god-damn story. Because if he loses this selection 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.

Daniels is less combative, more prepared for 'gotcha' moments today

As she kicks off her second day on the stand, Daniels seems less combative and more prepared today.

She knows Trump attorney Necheles has prepared a number of “gotcha” moments, so Daniels has tried to pre-empt that by asking to be shown where she told a Slate reporter that she wanted to be paid for her story as an alternative to being paid for her silence. Daniels resisted the characterization that she just wanted to be paid for her story, but she agreed she wanted the story to be public.

Stormy Daniels says she never asked for money from Trump

Asked by Trump lawyer Necheles if she wanted money from Trump, Daniels said, “No" and that she “never asked for money” from Trump or anyone else.

“No, I never asked for money from anyone in particular, I asked for money to tell my story,” she said.

After Daniels said that she entered negotiations over a nondisclosure agreement and accepted an offer, Necheles pressed her on whether she was going to do a press conference.

“You could have done a press conference?” Necheles asked.

Daniels said, “I chose to be safe.”

“You chose to make money, right?” Necheles asked.

Daniels replied, “I chose to take the nondisclosure.”

Merchan says Daniels' arrest record can't be used in court

Before the jury comes in, Trump lawyer Susan Necheles planned to elicit testimony about Daniels being accused of assault by her now ex-husband, which did not result in a conviction or plea.

Merchan told Necheles that neither the arrest nor the accusation may come into evidence.

Trump says defense team filed a motion challenging gag order

Rebecca Shabadis in Washington, D.C.

Speaking to cameras before entering the courtroom, Trump criticized the case.

“I think you’ll see some very revealing things today," he said.

Trump said his team just filed a major motion with the appellate division challenging the judge’s gag order in the case. He said that Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., is there at court today.

He said the courthouse is closed down like Fort Knox. “It’s like an armed camp down here,” he said, instead of at college campuses handling the protests.

He also offered criticism of Biden with respect to Israel, saying it is "disgraceful," referring to the threat to withhold military aid if Israel invades Rafah.

"If any Jewish person voted for Biden, they should be ashamed of themselves," Trump said.

He said Biden has domestic problems.

"Your problem is from the left, it's not the right," he said. "It's a bigger danger than China and Russia."

Sen. Rick Scott will join Trump in courtroom today

Alexandra Marquezis based in Washington, D.C.

Florida GOP Sen. Rick Scott, who is running for re-election this year, is in the courtroom with the former president today. He entered the courtroom with Trump as part of his entourage.

Scott also appeared on "Fox & Friends" this morning.

Daniels returns to witness stand for more cross-examination in Trump trial

Daniels is scheduled to return to the witness stand in the former president’s criminal trial today, when she’ll face more cross-examination by defense attorneys about her now-sworn allegation that she had a sexual encounter with Trump.

Daniels testified Tuesday about the alleged 2006 tryst, which Trump has denied. Her testimony apparently got under the former president's skin, prompting the judge to warn his attorney that he would not tolerate Trump’s cursing while Daniels is on the stand in Manhattan criminal court in New York City.

“I understand that your client is upset at this point, but he is cursing audibly, and he is shaking his head visually, and that’s contemptuous,” Merchan told Todd Blanche in a sidebar, which took place out of earshot of most of the courtroom, according to a court transcript.

“It has the potential to intimidate the witness and the jury can see that,” he said. “You need to speak to him. I won’t tolerate that.”

Read the full story here.

Spotted at the courthouse: Ex-Judge Jeanine Pirro

Seated in the overflow room is former Judge Jeanine Pirro — a staunch defender of Trump who has called the trial a "kangaroo courtroom."

Pirro, who hosts an opinion program on Fox News, is seated in the press section.

Trump leaves for court, and more testimony from Daniels

Brittany Kubicko

The former president has left Trump Tower and is headed to the courthouse downtown, where his lawyers are expected to continue their cross-examination of Daniels this morning.

Will Trump take the stand in his criminal trial?

Adam Reiss

Dareh Gregorian and Adam Reiss

As prosecutors near the home stretch of their criminal case against Trump, one of the biggest questions looming over the historic trial is whether the former president will take the stand in his own defense.

Just last month, before jury selection began, Trump insisted he would be on the witness stand.

“I would testify, absolutely,” he said April 12 in response to a question from NBC News. “I’m testifying. I tell the truth, I mean, all I can do is tell the truth. And the truth is that there is no case.”

A week later, after the trial started, he told reporters at the courthouse in Manhattan that “yes,” he will testify.

Since then, Trump has added caveats when asked the same question.

Read the full story here.

Trump came to face-to-face with Daniels during a day of salacious testimony at his criminal hush money trial. Meanwhile, his federal trial in Florida related to classified documents found at his Mar-a-Lago estate is now on hold indefinitely. NBC’s Laura Jarrett reports for "TODAY."

What to expect in court today

Trump's lawyers are expected to resume their cross-examination of Daniels after court is back in session at 9:30 a.m.

Daniels delivered testimony Tuesday about her alleged sexual encounter with Trump in 2006 and the hush money that came a decade later, near the end of the 2016 presidential campaign.

It is unclear if Daniels will finish her testimony today.

More Trump allies are expected in the courtroom today, including Republican Sen. Rick Scott, who is running for re-election in Trump's home state of Florida.