Trump's former aide tells how he dictated tweets

Madeleine Westerhout in the White House in 2018
Madeleine Westerhout in the White House in 2018 [Getty Images]

Donald Trump dictated his tweets and demanded capitals and exclamation marks, a former aide told his trial.

Madeleine Westerhout said Mr Trump preferred her to take notes rather than write himself. He would then edit them on paper and send.

"There are certain words he liked to capitalise... like 'country'," she said. "He liked exclamation points."

Mr Trump is accused of falsifying records to hide a payment to porn star Stormy Daniels. He denies the charges.

Giving evidence for the prosecution Ms Westerhout, who was eventually fired by Mr Trump, recounted her tasks as her boss prepared to enter office in 2016 and during his time in the White House.

Mr Trump's top aide, Dan Scavino also had access to the @realDonaldTrump account, she said, but added that when he was absent, Ms Westerhout would occasionally help craft a tweet.

Ms Westerhout, whose desk sat directly outside the Oval Office while Trump was president, said he would sometimes have her print out draft tweets for him to edit by hand.

Though he was an avid Twitter user, Mr Trump preferred to summon her and dictate his posts, she said.

Ms Westerhout said she would have to take notes, quickly type up the draft, and print it out for him.

Occasionally Mr Trump would have more edits. She told the court she soon learned what made a "signature" Trump tweet.

"My recollection is there are certain words he liked to capitalise. Words like 'country'. He liked to use exclamation points," she said.

"It is my understanding that he liked to use the Oxford comma," she added.

Mr Trump appeared to watch her closely as she gave evidence, leaning back in his chair as she spoke.

He did not use a computer or have an email address, to the best of her knowledge.

She also said that her former boss liked to do much of his work in a dining room, away from the actual Oval Office.

"He wanted to keep the Resolute Desk very pristine," she said of the famous wooden desk that presidents sit behind.

Ms Westerhout was forced to resign from the White House in 2019 after leaking private information about his family.

The former president was banned from Twitter in the aftermath of the January 6 insurrection of 2021 for posting messages the site said risked "further incitement of violence".

Mr Trump formed his own social media company and launched Truth Social, where he posts regularly.

His Twitter account was reinstated in 2022 by the site's new owner, Elon Musk.