Presidential mug shot backfires for Trump’s detractors, helps him raise over $7 million: ‘Making lemonade at every opportunity’

Those who
figured a mug shot would symbolize former President Donald Trump’s downfall were confronted with well over 7 million indications to the contrary in the days following his 20-minute prison stint in Georgia.

Within 48 hours of having his photograph taken Thursday at Atlanta’s Fulton County Jail, which the Republican candidate
called a “terrible experience,” Trump’s campaign managed to raise roughly $7.1 million, contributing to the estimated $20 million he has raised since early August, reported Politico.

On Friday alone, the Republican front-runner pulled in $4.18 million, reportedly setting a record for the biggest 24-hour period so far in his 2024 campaign. By way of comparison, Axios
noted that Trump raised $5 million over three days following his first indictment in late March.

The recent fundraising boost has been greatly aided by his mug shot, which some correctly
predicted would be become instantly iconic.

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Trump used the mug shot to stage his return to X, where TheBlaze
reported it quickly garnered hundreds of millions of views.

That post, which has now been seen over 251 million times and has 1.6 million likes, was captioned, “ELECTION INTERFERENCE[.] NEVER SURRENDER!” with a link to the presidential candidate’s
fundraising website, which also features the image, emphasizing that the former president is a “political outsider.”

Extra to using the mug shot that Democrats
prematurely celebrated to direct more traffic his way, Trump’s campaign has incorporated the image into its merchandising efforts.

The Telegraph
reported that it took all of 90 minutes from the time of Trump’s release from jail to get the merchandise bearing the mug shot up for sale, including a T-shirt with the image captioned, “Never Surrender.”

The campaign advertised a “free T-shirt” in an email blast in return for a $47 donation. Judging from the money reportedly raised over the weekend, it would appear there were plenty of takers.

Donald Trump Jr., one of the candidate’s sons, has also gotten in on the action, indicating that profits from the so-called “Free Trump Collection” — including a T-shirt with the mug shot captioned “Wanted for president” — will go to the “legal defense fund.”

David Kochel, a seasoned Republican presidential campaign operative in Iowa,
told Reuters, “His superfans are going to see this and it will be a fist-pumping exercise for them to send in that $25 and get that shirt or that mug. … It’s kind of sad at the end of the day that the campaign is going to celebrate his indictment over 13 criminal charges — but that’s where our politics is.”

Chris LaCivita, Trump’s co-campaign manager, stressed that the campaign is “making sure that we were making lemonade at every opportunity, which I think we did.”

USA Today
indicated that Trump’s joint fundraising committee brought in roughly $53.8 million from January to late June, but that tens of millions of the $52 million spent to date has gone toward legal fees for the candidate and his associates.

The campaign’s recent windfall will likely go a long way, since Trump now has four indictments to contend with.

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