Who is Hope Hicks, Once One of Trump’s Most Trusted Advisers?

Hope Hicks was 26 years old and had no political experience when Donald J. Trump plucked her from a job at his daughter Ivanka’s clothing business and hired her for his presidential campaign in 2015.

In the years that followed, she rose to be one of his most trusted advisers, eventually serving as the White House communications director. But Mr. Trump has been angry with Ms. Hicks since 2022, when text messages emerged during a House investigation into his efforts to stay in power after his election loss. The messages showed that she had been critical of him after the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol by his supporters.

They haven’t spoken since.

Now, Ms. Hicks, 35, has taken the stand in Mr. Trump’s hush-money trial in a Lower Manhattan courtroom.

Ms. Hicks, who met with prosecutors in the Manhattan district attorney’s office about the case in March 2023, was the Trump campaign’s press secretary in the final stages of the 2016 campaign, when prosecutors say Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer and longtime fixer, Michael D. Cohen, bought the silence of a porn star who claimed to have had a sexual encounter with Mr. Trump a decade earlier.

Documents released by federal prosecutors in 2019 show that Ms. Hicks participated in telephone calls, text messages and email messages with Mr. Cohen and another key witness, the then-publisher of the National Enquirer, David Pecker, in the days before the $130,000 payment to a porn star, Stormy Daniels, that is at the center of the case.

After Mr. Pecker declined to pay Ms. Daniels, Mr. Cohen made the payment himself. Prosecutors say Mr. Trump falsified business records to cover up his reimbursement to Mr. Cohen.

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