2024 US Presidential Elections: Former US President Donald Trump’s campaign emblazons merchandise with his mugshot

Notably, Trump has throughout tried his best to appear “unfazed and unbowed” by having been indicted four times since March, as per the New York Times.

“It is not a comfortable feeling — especially when you have done nothing wrong,” he told Fox News’s website in an interview.

ANI reported citing The Washington Post that Trump has effectively capitalized on his mug shot. Just an hour and a half after being released from an Atlanta jail, merchandise featuring his mug shot such as T-shirts, mugs, koozies, and bumper stickers was already available for purchase. The merchandise, priced at $34 for shirts, features the slogan “NEVER SURRENDER!”

Also Read: Indian-origin Vivek Ramaswamy speaks on running as Donald Trump’s VP: ‘Fine position for someone…’

Notably, Trump surrendered at the jail on Thursday and was released on a USD 200,000 bond in a move his legal team negotiated this week.

The ‘Trump Save America Joint Fundraising Committee’ is also selling his mug shot, saying it would give out a T-shirt in exchange for a USD 47 donation. The Trump campaign claimed in a fundraising email that his mug shot was an attempt “to make him look like a criminal in front of the entire world,” The Post reported.

Trump’s oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., also posted on X a link to his own website featuring merchandise with the photo. The younger Trump said he would donate proceeds from the sales to a legal defence fund that his father’s advisers had set up to assist with bills accrued by people who are witnesses in the cases, NYT reported.

Even before the mug shot was snapped at the jail in Atlanta, an email from Trump’s joint fund-raising committee primed his supporters by saying, “It’s been reported that if I am unjustly indicted and arrested in the Atlanta Witch Hunt, a mug shot will be taken of me.”

Notably, one of Trump’s top advisers, Chris LaCivita, issued a warning on social media to political entities that might seek to profit from the photo by using it to suggest a connection to the Trump campaign, NYT reported.

Also Read: Donald Trump’s indictment: Former US president to surrender; authorities to implement ‘hard lockdown’ in the locality

Meanwhile, other Republicans are also raising money off the mug shots. A committee for Sen. Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), who is running for re-election in 2024, urged supporters to donate to WinRed, a small-donor fundraising platform for Republicans.

“Today, ALL defence pledges will be flagged SPECIFICALLY for President Trump’s campaign,” the ad read.

“They insisted on a mug shot and I agreed to do that,” Trump told Fox News’s website after he was booked on a lengthy list of charges stemming from his efforts to remain in power after his election loss. “This is the only time I’ve ever taken a mug shot.”

Also Read: Donald Trump’s arrest: Former US President released from jail on $200,000 bond

In the past, there have been instances where the campaign tried to profit from this concept. For example, after a New York grand jury indicted Trump in April in relation to alleged hush money payments to Stormy Daniels, the Trump campaign reportedly sold T-shirts featuring a fake mug shot of Trump with the words “NOT GUILTY” printed on them. This kind of merchandise appears to be a response to legal issues he faced at the time.

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden took a dig at Trump over his viral mug shot picture. “I did see it on television. Handsome guy,” Biden told a reporter while vacationing in Lake Tahoe.

Notably, hours after he surrendered and his mugshot was released, Trump shared his mugshot with the link to his site. This came a few hours after his surrender in Fulton County, Ga. in the Georgia election subversion case.

“ELECTION INTERFERENCE! NEVER SURRENDER!” he wrote while sharing the mug shot photo on X.

It was the first time Trump posted on the social media platform since his account was suspended shortly after the January 6 riots at the Capitol. His last tweet was on January 8, 2021, when Trump said that he would not attend the inauguration of then-US President-elect Joe Biden.

Also Read: Donald Trump and the powerful history of the mugshot

In relation to the Georgia election subversion case, Donald Trump voluntarily surrendered himself at the Fulton County jail in Atlanta. However, he was subsequently released on bond, as confirmed by CNN and jail records.

According to these records, the former US President underwent the process of arrest and booking at Fulton County jail on the evening of Thursday, in line with US local time. This arrest pertained to his alleged involvement in the Georgia election subversion case.

Trump’s time spent at the jail was approximately 20 minutes.

Simultaneously, Trump is confronting a total of 91 charges spread across four distinct criminal cases. It is anticipated that his surrender and subsequent legal proceedings in Georgia will diverge from his experiences in the preceding three criminal cases.

(With inputs from ANI)

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Updated: 27 Aug 2023, 06:46 AM IST

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