Hope Hicks Testifies Trump’s Main Concern After ‘Access Hollywood’ Tape Leak Was Impact On Wife Melania

Hope Hicks, who served as press secretary for Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and later as White House communications director, testified Friday that Trump’s primary concern following the leak of the controversial “Access Hollywood” tape was the potential impact on his wife, Melania Trump. The tape, which surfaced just weeks before the 2016 presidential election, captured Trump making crude comments about women during a 2005 conversation with television host Billy Bush.

“He was worried about how this would be viewed at home,” Hicks said during her testimony in the criminal trial against the former president. She emphasized the importance Trump placed on his wife’s opinion, stating, “Mr. Trump really values Mrs. Trump’s opinion. She doesn’t weigh in all the time, but when she does… it’s valuable.”

Hicks revealed that Trump took steps to shield his family from the fallout of the tape’s release, asking that newspapers covering the story not be brought to the Trump residence. “I don’t think he wanted anyone in his family to be hurt or embarrassed about anything on the campaign. He wanted them to be proud of him,” Hicks told defense attorney Emil Bove during cross-examination.

The prosecution has argued that the “Access Hollywood” tape’s release served as a catalyst for the alleged hush money payment made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, which they contend was an attempt to protect Trump’s electoral prospects. However, Hicks’ testimony suggests that Trump’s motivations may have been more personal in nature, focused on minimizing the embarrassment and hurt caused to his family, particularly his wife.

As the trial continues, the defense is likely to seize upon Hicks’ account to challenge the prosecution’s assertion that the payment to Daniels was primarily driven by electoral considerations, potentially undermining a key element of their case against the former president.