Donald Trump mugshot: Supporters viewing ‘symbol of shame’ as ‘defiance to tyranny’; campaign rolls out t-shirts for fundraising | World News




NEW DELHI: For the first time in the history of the United States, a former president of the country had to pose for a mugshot inside a jail, captured in the sort of frame more commonly associated with drug dealers or drunken drivers.

The mugshot will go down in history as one of the most iconic photographs of this era, and Donald Trump is already trying to make it work to his advantage.

T-shirts with mugshot
A moment that many political analysts thought would break the back of Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign is showing signs of actually boosting the billionaire’s popularity in the run up to the polls.
Within minutes of the mugshot’s release, Trump’s campaign used it in a fundraising appeal on its website.
“BREAKING NEWS: THE MUGSHOT IS HERE,” reads the subject line of the campaign’s latest fundraising email, which advertises a new T-shirt with the image. And this quote: “This mugshot will forever go down in history as a symbol of America’s defiance of tyranny.”

Screenshot 2023-08-25 154139

In fact, far from shying away from the mugshot, Trump’s campaign concocted one long before it became real. Months before he was photographed in Georgia, his campaign used the prospect of a mugshot as a fundraising opportunity.
For $36, anyone could buy a T-shirt with a fake booking photo of Trump and the words “not guilty”. Dozens of similar designs were available to purchase online, including many that appeal to Trump’s critics.
Now they have a real one to work with.
Mugshot is Trump’s first post on X since 2021
In his first post on the platform since January 2021, Trump posted his police mugshot on X, formerly Twitter, just hours after his arrest in Georgia.
His post features the mugshot — Trump scowling at the camera as he posed in Fulton County jail — and has a link to his 2024 presidential campaign.

Above the photo are the words “MUG SHOT — AUGUST 24, 2023.” Below it are the phrases “ELECTION INTERFERENCE” and “NEVER SURRENDER”.
The post garnered more than 14 million views 50 minutes after going live.

The mugshot is his first post after the then-Twitter permanently suspended Trump following the January 6, 2021 riot, ruling he had violated the platform’s policy on glorifying violence as he pressed his false claims that the election was stolen from him.
The insurrection at the US Capitol saw an enraged mob of his supporters attempt to block Joe Biden’s certification as president.
Donald Trump has been booked on more than a dozen felony charges, as part of a wide-ranging criminal case stemming from the former US president’s attempts to overturn his 2020 election defeat in Georgia.
Mugshot effect
Most die-hard Republican supporters of Trump view the election manipulation charges as either “fake news” or far more dangerously don’t seem to care. They always saw Trump as someone who was going to “drain the swamp in Washington DC” and a setback like this was always expected.
Trump’s tweet is a signal to his core supporters, he is in the belly of the beast and he will “never surrender”.
Far from his supporters rethinking their allegiance, the mugshot may push them even further to the extreme.

The former president already commands support of nearly 60% of Republican voters — leaving his closest competitors for GOP presidential nomination in the dust.
The mugshot’s effect is likely to become clear over the next few days after a fresh round of voters’ survey is done.
In fact, Trumps’ campaign has reported a spike in contributions each time he has been indicted.
(With inputs from agencies)


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