Donal Trump's Mugshot
Donald Trump is the first-ever former president of the US to be criminally charged. FULTON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE

Donald Trump is the first ever former president of the United States to be criminally charged and is currently facing 91 charges across four indictments for his actions before during and after his run for president in 2020.

The former president is also facing years of possible jail time.

Almost immediately after he had his mugshot taken in Fulton County Jail on Thursday evening (24 August 2023), Trump used the image to make his Twitter, now X, comeback.

The 77-year-old posted his mugshot on the platform for his 86.8 million followers to see. Under the booking photo, in which he is smouldering while looking furious, it read: "ELECTION INTERFERENCE NEVER SURRENDER! DONALDJTRUMP.COM".

In only 12 hours, the post received more than 131.6 million views, 1.1 million likes and more than 348,300 shares.

Amongst his huge audience, was Elon Musk. Elon Musk dubbed Trump's return to X 'next-level'.

Trump had previously been banned from what was once known as Twitter, after he allegedly encouraged a large group of Republicans to storm the Capitol on January 6 2023.

Within minutes of the mug shot's release on X, Trump's campaign team used it in a fundraising appeal on their website.

Soon after Trump boarded his plane at Atlanta Airport, his team began urging his fellow Republican supporters to fork out $34 for a T-shirt. In no time, the Trump campaign sent out an email that plugged the new mugshot merchandise.

The T-shirt that Trump and his team are capitalising on, features the former president's mugshot and the slogan "NEVER SURRENDER!".

There are also coffee mugs and cup sleeves being sold on the Trump campaign webpage. These items also display the image of Donald Trump in Fulton County Jail.

The subject line of the email that was sent to thousands of Republicans read: "BREAKING NEWS: THE MUGSHOT IS HERE."

The email also related the booking photo to an act of bravery, with: "This mugshot will forever go down in history as a symbol of America's defiance of tyranny."

Kaplan, a former speechwriter for Vice President Walter Mondale and Hollywood screenwriter, told reporters that the word "indictment" is a "bloodless word. And words are compared to images".

Referencing Trump using his mugshot as a badge of honour to maintain his Republican following, Kaplan added: "A mug shot is a genre. Its frame is, 'This is a deer caught in the headlights. This is the crook being nailed.' It's the walk of shame moment."

But, Mitchell Stevens, a professor emeritus at New York University admitted that "there's a power to the still image, which is inarguable".

Seth Abramson, an Author and Poet, shared his disappointment with the way that the nominated Republican leader was capitalising on donors being fooled into buying a t-shirt.

Seth Abramson wrote on X: "Photoshopped image that removes Fulton County Sheriff's Department logo so you can sell $35 tees to the poor. Accusing others of the crime you're charged with. Insisting you'll never surrender under a photo of your surrender. Looking orange, slouchy, violent and hateful."

Already predicting the impact that the viral mugshot would have on the media, Piers Morgan wrote on social media: "Trump's mugshot tonight will send social media into an anaphylactic shock."

Impressed by the former president, who is facing 91 charges, Piers Morgan also wrote: "Trump's first tweet since January 2021... proudly posting his own mugshot."

Etsy sellers have already started generating their own pro-Trump merchandise – along with clothing items that go against Trump.