Former Trump aide Hope Hicks cries during testimony as hush money trial continues

A former Donald Trump adviser broke down in tears whilst testifying during his criminal trial.

Hope Hicks, who served as Mr Trump's campaign press secretary, was the latest witness called to the stand in the second week of the historic hush money trial.

Her testimony gave an insight into how the Trump campaign was run as the Republican candidate vied for the White House.

She said the former president told her to deny he had a sexual relationship with porn star Stormy Daniels in the final days of the 2016 election.

A month before the election an Access Hollywood video emerged of Mr Trump saying "you can do anything" as he spoke about grabbing women's genitals.

On the tape's potential impact, Ms Hicks said: "I think he was really concerned about what the perception of this would be... I don't think he wanted anyone in his family to be hurt or embarrassed by anything happening in the campaign."

Mr Trump is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business documents over hush money payments of $130,000 (£103,000) made to Stormy Daniels to cover up their alleged affair - he has pleaded not guilty.

Ms Hicks told jurors that she informed Mr Trump four days before the election that the Wall Street Journal would publish details of the adult star's story.

"He wanted to make sure that there was a denial of any kind of relationship," said Ms Hicks, adding Mr Trump did not want his wife Melania to see the story which also included allegations that he had an affair with former Playboy model Karen McDougal.

Mr Trump has denied the allegations.

Prosecutors argue that the payment to Daniels subverted the election as the news could have swung voters as they decided on Mr Trump or Democrat opponent Hillary Clinton.

However, Ms Hicks' testimony could help the defence make their case that Mr Trump paid off Daniels to keep his wife, not voters, from hearing the adult film star's allegations.

Read more:
Porn stars, sex scandals and zzzs: The A to Z of Trump's hush money trial
Biden speaks out for first time over US university protests

Before cross-examining Ms Hicks, prosecutors asked her to describe a conversation Mr Trump had with Michael Cohen, his former personal lawyer, where Mr Cohen had revealed he had paid the sum to Daniels rather than the Republican candidate.

She said Mr Trump told her that the lawyer had footed the bill to "protect him from a false allegation" out of the "kindness of his own heart".

But she conceded that this act by Mr Cohen would have been "out of character" for him adding: "I didn't know Michael to be an especially charitable person or selfless person."

At this point Ms Hicks broke into tears on the stand and a brief recess was called, as Mr Trump sat seemingly expressionless in the New York courtroom.

Earlier in the week, Mr Trump was fined $9,000 (£7,170) and held in contempt by the judge for breaches of a gag order - which prevents him from making public comments about jurors, witnesses and other members involved if the statements are meant to intervene in the case.