Trump hopes ‘badge of honour’ mugshot inspires his supporters


What’s in a mugshot?

For Donald Trump, millions of dollars in fund-raising, no doubt.

It will be a badge of honour, a ‘meme-tastic’ icon to be emblazoned on campaign T-shirts and merchandise.

Within an hour of its release, $34 (£27) T-shirts were already being advertised online with the image and slogan: “Never Surrender”

Donald Trump’s mugshot

Clearly, Trump had given it some thought. The hair was in place and the face make-up was on as he scowled down the barrel of the camera.

The image is almost showbiz from the host of the US Apprentice series – and you can almost hear the words: “You’re fired!”

A mugshot typically carries a sadness, a look that speaks of defeat, even fear, in the harsh shadows and light of a functional photograph that rarely flatters.

Trump mugshot merchandise is already on sale online
Trump mugshot merchandise is already on sale online

Donald Trump chose a statement look to define defiance of the process and to inspire supporters to stay in the fight.

Different people will see it differently, depending on their view of Trump.

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Supporters will applaud the look, opponents won’t – like a new wallpaper, if you don’t like it to begin with, you never will.

If the mugshot was the notable change in the summer of arrests for the outside world, for Trump himself it was the infrastructure.

The Atlanta trip could scarcely have provided a more vivid contrast of life as he knows it, and life as it could be, if things go badly for him in court.

Trump’s motorcade on Thursday

His journey by motorcade and private jet took a handbrake turn as he surrendered for arrest in a notorious Georgia prison.

Fulton County Jail is currently being investigated by the justice department for overcrowding and infestation, improper medical care and use of excessive force.

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The 45th president avoided the Republican debates citing his lead in the opinion polls.

Donald Trump didn’t come into contact with the general population, but any part of a prison for any length of time can be a daunting place for anyone – the sounds and smells of human containment, doors built to keep you in, with prison staff who look like they work there and who have the authority.

As a man who enjoys being in control, Donald Trump won’t have enjoyed that.

Atlanta gave him a brief flirtation with how grim life might get – on the day he growled into the camera, Atlanta growled back.


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