New ad taunts Trump to take stand in hush money trial - or admit he’s a coward

Donald Trump has been taunted to take the stand in his New York hush money trial in a new advert which uses the former president’s own words against him.

The ad, from centre-left group Third Way, implores Mr Trump to “take the stand” or “admit you’re a coward” by featuring a 2016 quote from the former president where he asks, “If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth?”

Mr Trump originally made the comment during a campaign rally about investigations into Hillary Clinton and her staff.

Since then, the former president has changed his tune. He pleaded the Fifth Amendment during a deposition with the New York Attorney General in 2022 and has played a will-he won’t-he game about testifying in his hush money trial.

“Donald, why won’t you testify? After all, you believe only guilty cowards take the Fifth,” the voiceover mocks Mr Trump during the 30-second ad.

The ad, titled “Coward” launched on Friday in the Palm Beach, Florida area – where Mr Trump lives at his Mar-a-Lago residence, according to POLITICO’s Playbook.

It will also play in Dallas, Texas where Mr Trump will appear for the National Rifle Association convention this weekend and in New York City where the trial is ongoing. According to POLITICO, the ad buy is around five figures.

The former president has teased he will testify in his New York criminal trial but his lawyers have not confirmed to Justice Juan Merchan, who is overseeing the trial, if he will. They have until Monday to decide as Justice Merchan asked both sides to prepare for closing arguments as soon as Tuesday.

Mr Trump is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records related to an alleged cover-up of hush money payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels days before the 2016 presidential election to prevent her from going public with allegations of an extramarital affair.

Mr Trump has pleaded not guilty to the charges and denies the affair.