Stormy Daniels' 'salacious' Trump testimony left jurors cracking up

Stormy Daniels' 'salacious' Trump testimony left jurors cracking up
Stormy Daniels testifies during day 13 of Trump’s New York hush money …
Aljazeera / VideoElephant

It was the moment the world or, at the very least, the tabloids had been waiting for: Stormy Daniels took to the witness stand of a New York courtroom.

The porn star (real name Stephanie Clifford), was there on Tuesday (7 May), to share her testimony in a hush-money case against Donald Trump.

The former president, 77, is accused of paying her to keep quiet about an alleged sexual encounter they’d had years before, but Daniels, 45, certainly wasn’t keeping quiet now.

During proceedings, the trial’s judge, Juan Merchan, even had to scold prosecutors about the “degree of detail” she went into when recounting her alleged tryst with the MAGA commander-in-chief.

Jurors reportedly struggled to keep a straight face as she recalled “spanking” the now 77-year-old with a magazine.

Daniels said that Trump had shown her a “financial magazine” with him on the cover and she made it clear that she was unimpressed because, “as a 27-year-old stripper,” she didn’t read such publications.

“I said someone should spank you with that because that’s the only interest I have,” she told the Manhattan court.

“He rolled it up, gave it to me. I said, ‘Turn around,’ and I swatted him.”

“Where did you swat him?” the prosecutor Susan Hoffinger asked.

“On the butt,” she replied. After that he was much more polite.”

An artist's impression of the scene in Manhattan's criminal court(Reuters)

The jury were, according to The New York Post, more impassive when Daniels described having sex with Trump on a hotel bed in “the missionary position” almost 20 years ago.

Daniels testified that she first met Trump at a celebrity golf event in Lake Tahoe back in 2006.

The actress and director said he referred to her as “the smart one” and asked her if she wanted to go to dinner.

She said she agreed to chat with him in his hotel room for a bit before going out for a meal, adding that during their conversation he repeatedly asked about her work as an adult film star and grilled her with questions including: “Do you worry about STDs?” and asking if she had been tested.

“Yes, of course, and I volunteered it as well,” she said. “He asked me, ‘Oh, well, have you ever had a bad test?’ I said, ‘Nope, I can show you my entire record.’”

At one point, Daniels claimed, Trump showed her photos, including one of Melania. The then 27-year-old told him that she was “very beautiful” and asked: “Oh, what about your wife?”

His alleged response? “Don’t worry about that, we don’t even sleep in the same room.”

The pair then talked about Trump’s reality show The Apprentice, prompting Daniels to lament that there was no way she’d be able to get on network TV, given her line of work.

At this point, she testified, Trump appeared to compare her to his daughter, Ivanka, saying: “You remind me of my daughter, she is smart and blonde and beautiful and people underestimate her as well.

Donald Trump with his wife Melania and daughter Ivanka during his 2017 presidential inauguration(Getty Images)

Daniels said she later went to use the bathroom and, when she returned, found Trump on the bed wearing nothing but boxer shorts and a T-shirt.

“At first I was just startled, like a jump scare,” she recalled. “I just thought: oh, my God, what did I misread to get here?

“The intention is pretty clear if someone’s stripped down to their underwear and on the bed.”

She said she then tried to make her excuses and leave, but Trump stood between her and the door. Although not, she stressed, “in a threatening manner”.

“He said, ‘I thought we were getting somewhere, I thought you were serious about what you wanted, if you want to get out of that trailer park,’” Daniels claimed Trump had told her.

“I was offended because I never lived in a trailer park.”

She said they ultimately wound up having sex, that the encounter was “brief”, and that she’d felt concerned that Trump hadn’t been wearing a condom.

Stormy Daniels didn't give details about the former president's anatomy, though she has done in the past(Getty Images)

At times during her testimony, Trump could be seen shaking his head and, at one stage he became so irate that he swore out loud, prompting the judge to call lawyers to the bench.

“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 said.

“It has the potential to intimidate the witness and the jury can see that.”

“You need to speak to him. I won’t tolerate that,” he added.

Trump’s lead lawyer Todd Blanche said he’d talk to his client, but later called for a mistrial.

“We move for a mistrial based on the testimony this morning,” Blanche told Merchan following the lunch break, arguing that her comments had “nothing to do” with the hush money case.

“There’s no way to unring that bell, in our view,” he said.

“Aside from pure embarrassment,” Blanche continued, these details only served to “inflame the jury”.

The judge rejected the request and faulted the defence attorneys for not raising more of their objections while Daniels was testifying.

Before she took the stand, Trump’s lawyers had tried to stop her from testifying about the encounter’s details, saying it was irrelevant in “a case about books and records.”

Prosecutors countered that Daniels’ testimony gets at what Trump was trying to hide and they were “very mindful” not to draw too much graphic detail.

Ahead of her appearance, they told the judge her testimony would be “really basic,” and would not “involve any details of genitalia.”

While the judge didn’t side with Trump’s lawyers, he acknowledged that some details were excessive. The objections could potentially be used by Trump’s lawyers if he is convicted and they file an appeal.

Trump stands beside his lawyer Todd Blanche as he addresses the press outside the court (Getty Images)

Still, they attempted to fight back by attacking Daniels’ credibility, suggesting she was motivated by money and accusing her of changing her account over the years.

“Am I correct that you hate President Trump?” Defence lawyer Susan Necheles asked Daniels at one point, to which she replied: “Yes.”

“And you want him to go to jail?” the Necheles asked.

“I want him to be held accountable,” Daniels said. Pressed again on whether that meant going to jail, she said: “If he’s convicted.”

Later, on the way out of the courthouse, Trump called it “a very revealing day.”

He didn’t address Daniels’ testimony explicitly but claimed the prosecutors’ case was “totally falling apart.”

Daniels’ cross-examination is expected to continue on Thursday.

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