Not long after Donald Trump was booked on felony charges alleging that he participated in a conspiracy to overturn his 2020 election loss in Georgia, his 2024 presidential campaign was selling merchandise featuring the first mug shot of a former American president.
The merchandise, which includes T-shirts, mugs, koozies and bumper stickers of the former president’s mug shot, was for sale about 90 minutes after he was released from an Atlanta jail on Thursday. The merchandise, which includes $34 shirts, is accompanied by the words “NEVER SURRENDER!” Trump surrendered at the jail Thursday, was booked and got released on a $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 $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.”
“Please make a contribution of $47 to prove that YOU will also NEVER SURRENDER our mission — and we’ll send you a FREE T-shirt with President Trump’s OFFICIAL MUGSHOT PRINTED ON IT,” the campaign’s email reads.
Trump campaign is already selling a t-shirt with the mugshot on it pic.twitter.com/TsXJNkmE7i
— Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) August 25, 2023
For $25, Trump supporters can buy a coffee mug with the photo. Trump backers can buy a set of two koozies with Trump’s mug shot for $15. For those who want to make sure their fellow drivers know they support Trump, 4-by-4-inch bumper stickers with the photo are available for $12.
Other Republicans are also raising money off the mug shot. A committee for Sen. Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), who is running for reelection in 2024, urged supporters to donate to WinRed, a small-donor fundraising platform for Republicans.
“Today, ALL defense pledges will be flagged SPECIFICALLY for President Trump’s campaign,” the ad reads.
Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday morning.
Trump’s booking at Fulton County Jail was part of his fourth criminal indictment since March — his second tied to alleged efforts to subvert the 2020 election results.
Trump faces 13 counts in the Georgia case, including violating the state’s racketeering act, soliciting a public officer to violate their oath, conspiring to impersonate a public officer, conspiring to commit forgery in the first degree and conspiring to file false documents. The former president has denied wrongdoing and described the investigation, led by Fulton County District Attorney Fani T. Willis (D), as a “political witch hunt.”
After each of Trump’s three previous indictments, authorities did not take a mug shot. Authorities in those cases wanted not only to avoid a spectacle but also acknowledged that there was little need for formal photo identification of the former president.
It isn’t the first time the Trump campaign has attempted to monetize the idea of Trump’s mug shot, an unprecedented moment in American history. After a New York grand jury indicted Trump in April, in a case stemming from alleged hush money payments to former adult-film actress Stormy Daniels, the Trump campaign sold T-shirts with a fake mug shot for $47, emblazoned with the words “NOT GUILTY.”
The pretend mug shot on that shirt showed Trump’s height on the lineup as 6-foot-5. Trump’s booking record on Thursday said he is 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, which is nearly 30 pounds lighter than his disclosed weight at the time of his last official White House physical.
Holly Bailey, Amy Gardner, Isaac Arnsdorf and Amy B Wang contributed to this report.